October 4, 2023
The Way Out of Worry
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"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!” Luke 12:24 (NIV)
I wonder if we can pull off this big financial leap?
For years, my husband, Greg, and I pondered and prayed about a financial decision that would profoundly impact our lives. We would talk about it and fantasize about what the outcome would look like if we went for it. As the time got closer, we created spreadsheets, documenting exactly where we were spending our money and how much we were taking in. We considered each decision we made and how those choices were impacting not only our today but our tomorrow too.
Yet no matter how much planning we did, all the preparation never truly took the worry away.
I'm guessing Jesus' followers were also experiencing some sort of worry about their financial future because He chose to address it in Luke 12. First, Jesus told a story of a rich fool who found his confidence for the future based on the material wealth he was amassing. This rich man was in awe of himself and what he had acquired but did not revere God (Luke 12:15-21).
Moving on from this story, Jesus began His next teaching with the word "therefore." What He was about to say reflected back on the story He just told. "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'" (Luke 12:22, NIV).
Jesus went on to explain how not to worry: "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!" (Luke 12:24, emphasis added).
He repeated the word “consider” again a few verses later: "Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even [King] Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these" (Luke 12:27, NIV, emphasis added).
Jesus was teaching His followers to make a practice of considering - a habit of noticing and thinking carefully about God's faithfulness. He called them, and He calls us, to take into account all that God does to care for birds and wildflowers. These creations don't even know how to ask the Father to take care of them, yet He does.
As my husband and I tried to make a wise decision, taking the time and effort to consider our financial position was valuable to us. But what was even more valuable was considering all the ways our Father had been faithful to us.
I keep a prayer journal where, in black ink, I write down the things I need; then when the Father meets that need (even if it is not how I expected or wanted), I write out the date and how He took care of me in red ink. When worry and anxiety attempt to strangle my faith, I pull out those journals and read the red writing. Considering the times God has been faithful to me, my family and my friends builds my faith to trust Him again.
When we actively and frequently reflect on the times our Father has been faithful to us, we are storing up in our hearts the faith we will need when our trust is put to the test.
Greg and I took that leap - and while it has not looked exactly as we thought it would, we have certainly seen the faithfulness of our Father.
Father, thank You for Your faithfulness to me over and over and over again. I will reflect on it today, filling my heart with the faith I will need for tomorrow. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
OUR FAVORITE THINGS
LAST CHANCE to join us for Reset: A Saturday To Tend to Your Soul with Proverbs 31 Ministries! Meet us in Charlotte, North Carolina, on October 7 for a one-day event where you can experience uninterrupted time away from the noise of your daily life and connect with Jesus through intentional worship. Click here to sign up today!
People of all ages experience anxiety, even kids. Lynn's newest book, written with licensed counselor Michelle Nietert, is especially for children and their big emotions. Managing Your Emojis helps boys and girls ages 8-12 learn the critical life skill of managing their emotions using the Word of God and practical applications. Order a copy for your child here.
On her blog today, Lynn will be giving away a copy of Managing Your Emojis along with a journal so you can start your own practice of considering the faithfulness of God. Click here to enter to win.
FOR DEEPER STUDY
Psalm 77:12, "I will reflect on all you have done and meditate on your actions" (CSB).
Think of a time in your life when you saw God's faithfulness and care for you.