22 Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear. — Luke 12:22 NLT
Jesus is not suggesting that we not worry, He is telling us not to do it. If we continually worry about something, we are being disobedient. Not only is continually worrying a sin, satan uses it to destroy us mentally and if we persist in worrying, it will destroy us physically. We might look at this warning from Jesus in a different light, if we look up the definition of worry and find the following definition and example:
worry (of a dog or other carnivorous animal) tear at, gnaw on, or drag around with the teeth.
“I found my dog contentedly worrying a bone”
Imagine that satan is the dog and you are the bone. You see why God doesn’t want us to worry? He knows it’s that sly old dog, satan, lying to us and dragging us down. Isn’t that an exact picture of how we feel after days and days of worrying over something? We feel worn out, torn up and like we have been dragged around by the hair of the head. And guess what, Jesus was right, all of our worrying has not changed a single thing. Whatever was going to happen, happened anyway and whatever was not going to happen, didn’t happen. We can cast all of our cares on Jesus. Some of those cares He will crush with His feet because they come from His enemy, satan. Some of those cares He will hold in the palm of His hand and caress you until you feel His joy. Why? That is just what Love does.
1 I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done.
2 I will be filled with joy because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.
— Psalm 9:1, 2 NLT
As we tell and retell the Gospel story and talk about all the marvelous things God has done for us, we are filled with joy. The more we tell the old, old story, the more sure our hope becomes and the more joy we have to help us get through each day. That old liar, satan, comes around every day telling us how bad things are and pointing out all the things we don’t have. But all we need to do is stop and consider all the things with which God has blessed us. Then we need to thank Him and praise Him for all that He has done, is doing and will continue to do for us. We need to remind ourselves and satan about Paul’s admonition to us in Philippians on the things we need to focus on in our daily thought patterns.
Philippians 4:8, 9
God tells over and over that we should not worry, fear or be discouraged, yet, we spend more time considering what we are going to do when bad things happen than we do praising God for what He has done, is doing and will continue to do for us. Just as we don’t want to hear our kids complaining about what they don’t have all the time, neither does God want to hear our murmurs and complaining every day. It was this kind of behavior by God’s chosen people that caused Him to be angry with them on their trek through the desert. Do we want best friends who only tell us about their problems or those who share their concerns and their victories with us? God is our best friend, let us treat Him like we would our best friend. Talk with Him, not just to Him every day and praise Him for all of His goodness, then we will be filled with HIs peace and His joy, which is His gift to us.
28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. 30 For my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.” 33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. — Luke 2:28-33 NIV
Simeon was a priest serving in the temple at the time Joseph and Mary borught Jesus to be consecrated. He had been told by the Holy Spirit that he would be honored to see the Lord’s Messiah before he died. God arranged that Simeon would be walking in the courtyard when Joseph and Mary arrived with baby Jesus. It is amazing how God manages all the little details to be sure that His promises never fail. It should give us great comfort and peace to know how much God cares about us. How carefully He watches over us allowing and/or causing every piece of the puzzle to fall into place to fulfill HIs plan. The events in our lives happen just in time and are designed to help us grow spiritually. They are sometimes trying but they are never more than we can bear, if we lean on Him in those times.
10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. — Isaiah 41:10 NIV
Some people may feel that God has never spoken to them or promised them anything. But, truthfully, He has promised each of us everything that we need to live the life that He has called us to live.
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature — 2 Peter 1:3, 4a NIV
So, in the best of times and the worst of times, if we lean on Jesus, we can always go in joy and peace.
12 You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; — Isaiah 55:12a NIV
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. — Col. 3:15-17 NIV
The word that Jesus used for peace in John 14:27 when He said, “my peace I leave with you” is the Greek word “eirene” pronounced a-ra-na. Like shalom in the Old Testament, it has a much more complex meaning than just an absence of war or conflict. If you look up shalom in the Strong’s Concordance, you will find a long list of what shalom can mean to us.
According to Strong’s Concordance 7965 Shalom means completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord. Shalom comes from the root verb shalom meaning to be complete, perfect and full
This is “the peace of Christ” and that is what the word conveyed to the disciples. It is also what Jesus has given to all of us who accept Him as our Savior and make Him Lord of our lives. Is there anything missing from this list that we need to live lives that are full of peace and joy? Let us be thankful and allow this “message of Christ to dwell among us richly”. To “dwell” means to live in a specified place. For that to happen in our lives, we must meditate on the Word of God and store his Word in our hearts. Then when problems arise in our lives and the lives of those around us, we can encourage ourselves and others with the Word, psalms, hymns and Spiritual songs. Jesus died on the cross that we might live abundant lives full of peace and joy. So, when satan comes around with all of his lies, we can rebuke him with the Word, just as Jesus did.
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. — John 10:10 NASB