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  • Writer's pictureMatt Beaney

#1071. Overcome financial worry by reflecting on truth (5/6/24)

This week in our Luke series, we are focussing on Luke 12:13-34, where the theme is our relationship to wealth. Today, we consider how we overcome financial worries through reflection on the truth. 

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?”’ (Luke 12:22-26) 

Lesson: Worry is reflecting on what may go wrong, faith reflects on truth. 


You can listen to this devotional at:



What do you worry about? According to Ipsos (in March 2024), the world’s greatest worry is around finances. They write:


‘Our monthly What Worries the World survey explores what the public thinks are the most important social and political issues, drawing on more than ten years of data to place the latest scores in context. Inflation has now been the number one concern for two years. For the past 24 months, rising prices has been top of our list…’  (https://www.ipsos.com/en-uk/what-worries-world)

Money is a huge issue. Many people’s lives are overcast with money problems and it is a huge source of marital tension and breakdown:

‘Money worries are the leading cause of marriages falling apart, according to a new study, the release of which coincides with what is reportedly the busiest time of year for separations. The first working Monday of the year is dubbed “Divorce Day” by lawyers because of the increase in the number of people looking to end their marriages following the stress of Christmas and the New Year. A poll of over 2,000 British adults by legal firm Slater and Gordon found that money worries top the list of reasons why married couples split up, with one in five saying it was the biggest cause of marital strife.’ (Guardian January 2018)

Do not worry about your life

Jesus commands us not to worry about finances and provision. Worry is considering the bad things we think might happen. We can seek to alleviate worry in two ways: We can strive to have enough and feel safe, or we can trust God. The character in the parable of the rich fool in this chapter, seeks to overcome worry through hoarding wealth. We read of his thinking: 

‘And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ (Luke 12:19) 

The foolish seek to remove worry through believing lies. In reality, however, their finances and even their lives are uncertain. Added to this, their peace is a false peace because they are not right with God!

For Christians, we are to pursue peace in God. This is a big subject, but a simple lesson from this week’s section from Luke is that we are to pursue peace by reflecting and meditating of what is true. 


Reflect using the book of the Word and the book of the world

A key to overcoming worry and putting things into perspective is to reflect on what is true. Meditation on truth expels lies.  We can meditate on the ‘book of the Word’ and the ‘book of the world’ - the Bible and creation. As we look on creation, we have an unlimited supply of analogies as to the greatness and love of God. Here, Jesus is telling us to consider the book of the world and see God’s care. He also seems to be referring to Psalm 104 as a backdrop; In Psalm 104, we read of the psalmist’s meditation on the glory and goodness of God. On a number of occasions, he reflects on God’s care for the birds:

‘The birds of the sky nest by the waters; they sing among the branches…There the birds make their nests; the stork has its home in the junipers.’ (Psalm 104:12, 17)

Regarding God’s care over creation, the psalmist writes: 

All creatures look to you to give them their food at the proper time. When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things.’ (Psalm 104:27-8)

He speaks of what he’s doing in this Psalm - reflecting and meditating by using creation as inspiration: 

‘I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the Lord.’ (Psalm 104:33-34) 

I hope we can see that our meditations can be pleasing to God, but such meditations are also pleasing and enriching to ourselves. Jesus tells us to ‘consider the ravens’ and how God cares for them. These, unclean birds in ceremonial law, are cared for. How much more should the child of God expect to be cared for! 


Response

Jesus tells us not to worry about finances and provision, and He tells us how to achieve this: worry, which is meditating on what may go wrong, is driven out as we meditate - ‘consider’ - true things. These true things are revealed in how God works in the world and in His Word. May we use nature as inspiration for the glory and goodness of God. May we use the Word of God to fill us with trust in our Heavenly Father. Next time you go out for a walk, why not purposely consider what the things of creation say about God. Worry is reflecting on what may go wrong, faith reflects on truth. 

 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY


There are no groups this week due to our week of prayer. Please look at Church News or contact the church office for details.

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