Serving Christ and sharing the Gospel

Avoiding anxiety (Lk 12:22-34)

What is anxiety? According to the Oxford Dictionary it is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome. It is worry, concern, apprehension, consternation, unease, fear, disquiet, agitation, and foreboding.

Now I am sure those of you who know me a little have worked out that I am a simple man, but I also worry I worry that if I don’t get to the bakers early enough on a Saturday they will have none of my favourite cakes left. No its true! Its a great worry in my life, cake is very important, especially if its homemade cake like Victoria sponge cake or cake from my favourite bakers. And I always worry about being late, I hate being late, the cake may be all gone, or I might miss out on something, or I might miss my train if I am late.

How do you avoid anxiety? Do you avoid anxiety or are you one of these people who worry about every little thing. To many this may be easier said than done, some people are said to be natural worriers, some are control people who worry when others are interacting in their world. Some like me worry that they may miss out on something.

Jesus said do not worry. Let’s look at verse 22 again “ 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”.There you go simple, do not worry about your life safety, food, health and clothes. It’s cool man just chill! Sometimes Jesus can sound like the first hippy, but as Jesus said don’t worry, Jesus does not say this in a flippant way. He says it with love, the next verse gives the clue “For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes”. Look around you  what do you see, what you see is God’s provision for what he has made, and Jesus say’s ”and how much more valuable you are than birds”! And then this is the big thing. Jesus says “ Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

Our son Michael has what is call marfan syndrome which is connective tissue disorder, when Michael was growing up we did not know this and spent a lot of time at Old Church and then the Queens hospitals with him, we thought he was just unlucky, then as a 19 year old his lung clasped, an unusual event in someone so young who was just singing in a choir, they found out that he had this syndrome, since then he has had to have his lungs stick back to his ribs one of his knees has had to be totally re-constricted, nice set of scars, and loads of other problem, but he refuses to let it define him and we his mum and dad refuse to worry about it. What would be the point, where would it get us. So in my life there are two types of worry the mundane type the cake, being late, and the type that can running a life and send you into a spiral of depression, the type of worry you can do something about, like being early, and don’t forget the early bird gets the cake and the one you can do nothing about, other than pray.

I came across this quote the other day, “Our Earth is degenerate in these later days; there are signs that the world is speedily coming to an end; bribery and corruption are common; children no longer obey their parents; every man wants to write a book and the end of the world is evidently approaching.”  This was found on an Assyrian clay tablet dating to around 2800 B.C. so over 4000 years old, so nothing has changed in the world.

George Thomas White Patrick a Professor of Philosophy at the State University of Iowa, said “This old and ever-recurring complaint does not depend upon any actual deterioration of the times, for the times are constantly growing better.

It comes usually from people whose outlook may be biased by subjective conditions due to decaying powers and by the tendency to regard all changes as changes for the worse, the only really good times being the bright days of our own youth. Ahh the good old days, and it does not matter how old you are we all had good old days, days when we could walk or run all day, when we had no cares, the summers were longer the, it never rained, it was hotter, it snowed when it was supposed to, life was so much better.

But in reality the school holidays are still six weeks and in fact it rained as much as it does now and some summers the sun did not show its face much, and then we grow up fall in love have family’s and responsibility and life changes, but one thing never changes, God’s love for us, as Johnnie said last week our Dad loves us and wants the best for us, we on the other hand think we know better and worry about stuff.

The prophet  Isaiah said 43:18-19 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

And the writer of Psalm 37:1-6 said “Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; 2 for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. 3 Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. 4 Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: 6 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.

And the reason the Bible says this is also written in the Bible in Proverbs 12:25 because “Anxiety weighs down the heart”. And Jesus said in our reading 32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

So if we believe in Jesus and we have accepted Jesus as our saviour and we have the Holy Spirit within us Jesus is saying do not worry about things in this world, it’s all sorted, trust in God and follow Jesus and work for the Kingdom of God in the here and now and we will get our reward in the heavenly kingdom, were nothing destroys and we will have eternity to enjoy it.

And if some of us are thinking I am too old to work for this kingdom on the earth, we are never too old to pray.  So do not worry, love the Lord your God and love your neighbour and let God sort the rest out, he has a plan, as I said recently if you want proof of the plan that we do not understand look at Jesus choosing Judas as a disciple. Why would God choose him, because with hindsight it was in the plan.

Trust in our heavenly Father, build up our relationship through pray and reading His word with the Father Son and Holy Spirit.

I would like to close in prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you that because you came in the person of Jesus we do not have to worry, Lord we pray for an infilling of your Holy Spirt and the strength to place all our worry’s in your hands. In Jesus name we pray, Amen