“A day of worry is more exhausting than a week of work” ~ John Lubbock
This Sunday as we continue our journey through the Gospel of Luke, our text will be Luke 12:22-34 and we’ll be tackling the subject of worry and anxiety. Now, as one who struggles with anxieties, I know that often when this subject is covered in a Bible teaching I usually feel worse because it’s generally stated that “worry is a sin, so stop it!” – which flattens out a very complex subject and ignores all that we’ve learned about the sources for anxiety and its management. I will attempt to avoid that sort of oversimplification while still remaining true to what Jesus is teaching us.
For one thing, the primary lesson isn’t about what to stop, but who to trust, which should have the effect of staving off anxiety. We’ll also note that Jesus isn’t necessarily addressing anxiety overall – but is dealing with the specific issue of worrying over finances and provisions, and he has a specific contrast of values that he’s trying to communicate to us. V23 informs us that our lives are more than just what we eat or wear – what do you suppose he means by that?
In v24-28 Jesus uses illustrations from nature and God’s provision for it. As you read it, what do you believe he’s trying to communicate about God’s view of us, his people? V25-26 provide the basis for our title – the wasted energy of worry when it comes to our security and need for provision. How can God’s care for nature encourage us to trust him?
29-34 shifts the focus – and the contrast is made between the values of those who have embraced salvation through Jesus and the systems of this broken world. We are encouraged towards nobler things than scrambling around this earth trying to secure ourselves in it. How can a trust in God’s provision for us lead towards a more generous lifestyle on our part?
I hope you can join us this Sunday as we read this challenging text together.