22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life[a]? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? 27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendorwas dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. (Luke 12:22-31).
Jesus had just finished talking to His disciples about a rich young ruler who was planning to store up treasures in barns that he would build and about the folly of such undertaking of a man who had been so preoccupied with material things that he neglected his own own. It is in the context of such preoccupation with this temporal world: what we can accumulate, how well we fair that Jesus told his disciples NOT to worry.
We tend to become anxious when things do not go our way. We worry about what we would wear, where we would live, how we would eat. But Jesus instructs that we should not be worried about those things. Is it that He is unconcerned about our well-being? Quite the contrary. Jesus understands that we have needs but He is also aware that worry is a sign of misplaced priorities. In verse 23, Jesus indicated that life is more than food and the body is more than what we will wear. He is pointing to a deeper concern that we must have. But not only is worry a sign of misplaced priorities, worry is senseless! It changes nothing about our circumstance, other than make us sick and sad and despondent. Do we add to our lives by worrying? Has worrying ever made things better? It is folly to worry about the things we have no control over. And, if God does not fix it, then He has some purpose in letting things be the way they are. Why stress over it? Why not seek to unearth the life lesson that God is teaching. Certainly, life is more than those temporal things we tend to worry about.
Worry is also indicative of our lack of trust in God, our doubts. Faith is often easy when things are going well. But when the rubber meets the road; when our backs are against the wall and things are not going the way we want them to, we throw our hands up in desperation and begin to wonder where has God disappeared to. He has gone nowhere!!! He’s right there. All we have to learn to do is trust Him. Trust that He knows what is best for us. Trust that even if He does not change our circumstance that he can sustain us through whatever the life experience that is causing us not to rest in Him. If we say we believe that he sustains the birds and the grass of the fields, why cant we trust Him to sustain us even in difficult times?
Believers really should not worry because worry is ungodly!It denies God’s power. Verse 30 tells us explicitly it is the pagan world who worries about the temporal things as food and clothes etc. As believers, we understand God’s power and willingness to supply ALL our needs according to His riches in Glory. Our challenge is that we hate to have to wait on God or we do not appreciate the value of struggle. It goes against a theology that we have adopted that suggests to us that suffering is a sign of weak faith. We believe that the believer must experience lack or have troubles and so when that lack becomes evident we start to worry or become anxious. But when we are being tried, it is not time to become frustrated and surrender to worry. Instead we must joyfully celebrate that God is working in us to mature our faith (James 1:2-4). We are only becoming better, through our trials.
I am learning that in the moments where I can do nothing about my circumstance and I am tempted to worry that I should instead rejoice for the opportunity that God is presenting me to make me better. Abraham Had such an opportunity at Mount Moriah. He learned to trust God rather than worry about what will be the fate of his son. Moses, too, had that opportunity. He had to learn to trust God to fill his mouth than worry about what he would say before the Pharaoh. Paul had that opportunity. He could have worried about being in chains and suffering for the sake of the Gospel or Trust that God had a grander plan. He could have been cripple with worry. He rejoiced, not because he had shaken off His chains but because but because he got his priorities straight. He knew that despite his chains, his name was written in the book of life (Philippians 4:2-4).
Are you using life experiences as moments of worry or moments for thanksgiving and rejoice?