And He said to His disciples, “For this reason I say to you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds! 25 And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life’s span? Luke 12:22–25
I understand why people are anxious. I understand why they worry. I understand why they have panic attacks. It’s frightening to be dangling in this inexplicable universe and feeling all alone and not being able to figure out why you’re even here and where you’re going. I understand there’s a certain cosmic fear. I understand why people take drugs and drink and go on eating binges and shopping binges and wild adventures and all kinds of things to fill their minds with other thoughts.
We are living in an anxiety-ridden culture. And the amazing thing about it is this is the most indulged, the most lavish society ever, this is the most comfortable society ever, this is the society that has the most but it seems to be the most angst-ridden, anxious, stressed out, panicked culture ever. We have a massive medical world that exists to do nothing but help people with stress. No worry goes unnamed. No worry goes undefined. No worry goes uncataloged. No worry goes undiagnosed. And no worry goes unmedicated. They just go unrelieved. People live with anxiety. They live with worry. They live with stress.
`But it’s so common that we don’t even talk about eliminating it. The term is “to manage it.” You take a course, go to a seminar, listen to a lecture, buy a tape on stress management like it was a baseball team, needed a manager, or a production line. Then Jesus comes along and says, “I’m not going to teach you how to manage your stress, I’ll eliminate it.“
MacArthur goes on to say…
Let me tell you what this is. You do not have the privilege to determine your life span. Who does? God. The Lord gives. The Lord takes. Blessed be the name of the Lord. People say, “Oh, you know, if you…you’ve got to do this and you’ve got to do that to…to live longer, live…” Look, this society is berserk about lengthening life, mega billion-dollar industries in food supplements and vitamins and exercise and medications, on and on and on. You can’t add one day to your life.
I don’t want to be here any longer than He wants me here. That’s kind of liberating, isn’t it? Takes the panic out. People consumed with their health. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be disciplined, you should. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be moderate in the way you eat and I’m not saying you shouldn’t stay in some reasonable condition so that you can serve the Lord with all your energy and all your power. That’s important. Now there’s no virtue in the sin of gluttony or laziness or overindulgence.
But I am telling you, worry isn’t going to lengthen your life because the one who has the privilege to determine when you are born and when you die is the sovereign God. So what do you want to do? Don’t worry. You belong to Him.
(Taken from his Sermon Anxiety-Free Living, Part 1, read in its entirety here.)
Then Jesus comes along and says,
“I’m not going to teach you how to
manage your stress, I’ll eliminate it.”
*Emphasis Mine-Pictures Not Mine.