Do you tend to worry? Most of us do! In Luke chapter 12, Jesus spoke on this topic. He urged His followers to fear God more than people (vv. 1–12). They should build treasure in heaven—and not on earth (vv. 13–21). They were to keep an eternal perspective (vv. 35–48). And, finally, they should not worry about this life.
The verb tense here implies a condition of being continually free from anxiety, an instruction repeated by Paul in Philippians 4. The specific focus in these verses is worry over the basics of life, like clothing and food. Jesus’ disciples did not need to be distracted by temporal things. They had more important matters on which to focus. Besides, Jesus explained, worry is ineffectual (vv. 25–26).
To support His “do not worry” directive, Jesus used examples from nature. God’s sustaining power and provision was the basis for His command. First, He pointed to the ravens—an unclean creature that does not plant its food or store a harvest. Yet they are continually fed. Jesus reasoned that God’s people are much more valuable to Him than these birds.
Second, He reminded them of the lilies—a stunning, resourceful flower that thrives and multiplies without human intervention. The lilies do not work or make plans. Yet they radiate a beauty even more spectacular than the wealthiest king’s robes. Finally, He points to the grass—a common and ephemeral plant. God even cares about the grass. If God clothes the grass, Jesus explained, “how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith!” (v. 28). When we worry, we cast doubt on God’s care, so Jesus challenged His disciples’ faith. He called them to trust that their Father—a personal and protective dad—knew their needs and would provide (v. 30).
>> It is easy to get caught up in common, everyday worries. As you consider your own anxieties, we hope Jesus’ words will encourage your faith in God’s care and provision.
Lord, we lay out our needs before You. Some of us are choked with worry about the future. Please calm us and reassure us. We remember that You are our loving Father. Help us let go of fear and cling to You instead.