No one goes out of their way to worry.
“Worry” can be an an unwelcome guest and if we knew how to be rid of it then we would.
So being told to “not worry” can be infuriating.
However, there are people in life who can tell us not to worry and it makes us feel better. We feel better either because they have the knowledge to explain why our problem isn’t what we thought it was or, if there is a problem, they can fix it.
A crack has appeared across the ceiling – is the house falling down? The surveyor says it’s just the new house settling in. Worry over.
You’re at the doctor’s for a check up. “Nothing to worry about” she says.
A child knocks their drink across the dinner table. “It was an accident” says Dad, “don’t worry”.
The world can be a traumatic place and none of us are immune from tragedy, upset and troubles in life.
However, when God created the earth he gave us all an opportunity to live in a very particular way. We have a choice, every day, to live a life connected, or separated from God.
Jesus, God’s only son lived a perfect life as an example to us.
He also allowed himself to die, a perfect sacrifice.
God needed just one person to elevate themselves above hatred, impurity and selfishness, and instead reflect his character and spirit…
God’s Spirit makes us loving, happy, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled. There is no law against behaving in any of these ways. And because we belong to Christ Jesus, we have killed our selfish feelings and desires. God’s Spirit has given us life, and so we should follow the Spirit. But don’t be conceited or make others jealous by claiming to be better than they are.
Galatians 5: 22-26 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Through living an obedient life Jesus was worthy to pay the debt of our weakness and selfishness. He was raised to everlasting life as a consequence.
We have the same opportunity.
With the barrier of death removed we can look forward to Jesus return to this earth as King, ruling perfectly, in fairness and with the Truth of God.
For this is what the Lord says—
He who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited—he says: “I am the Lord, and there is no other.”
Isaiah 45: 18 New International Version (NIV)
It is God’s intention that our earth is filled with people living a life that imitates His character (Galatians 5).
And when we know that that life is a possibility we have the freedom to see past the challenges in front of us now and focus on preparing ourselves for the Kingdom to come.
So when Jesus says “don’t worry”, it carries weight because he suffered terribly, but he did so to provide a better way for us. He has the experience, knowledge and power to save us – and help us see that our worry isn’t what we thought it was – and offers us the Kingdom. “He lives”, waiting at the side of God, to return.
In The Gospel of Luke, Jesus empathises with our experience of worry, and reminds his followers (including us) that his Father’s loves and values us and is pleased to give us the Kingdom…
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. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 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! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
“Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. 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! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.
Luke 12: 22-32