The Good Life: Giving up Worry, Giving in Faith
Where have you found the good life for yourself? We navigate through many images of what a good life entails, often based upon wealth, possessions, success — values that may or may not fit well with our faith. Fortunately, Jesus gives us a different version of the good life, one that is lived in trust of God’s provision for us and in generosity. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells us how to handle the pressures and stress of life when he says, “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But strive first for the kingdom of God[d] and his[e] righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today. (Mt. 6: 31-34)
Giving up worry is rarely easy, but there is a step of finding and trusting that God does know what we need and what we are going through. The lilies of the fields and the birds don’t have to store up their treasures. That would seem counter to their nature. As Jesus reminds us, they are cared for by God and so are we. Jesus makes this sound simple, but it is not simplistic. There is an understanding that God provides for us with an abundant care that makes it possible for us to face all that life brings. God offers these gifts to us even as God knows the difficult realities of life for us, the times when jobs are lost, when money is scarce and when we believe our future looks dismal. Jesus could speak these words because he had learned to trust in God’s provision throughout his ministry and life’s hard moments, when crowds turned against him, when his cousin John, was executed, in those last hours when he faced Gethsemane and the cross. These were the most difficult moments of trusting that God’s love and presence will provide what we need. None of those difficult conditions can defeat God or prevent God’s work and help from reaching us.
As we think about the Good Life that God has in store for us, we want to be people who can give as God does, who are not afraid to share what God has provided in our lives. As we wrap up our giving theme we will talk about what it means to be generous people who live and give as God desires.
Dave Summers, PhD
602.840.8360, Ext 131
P.S. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 14. Pick up a winter/spring 2018 Journeys small groups at PVUMC guidebook Sunday, and stop by the Learning and Living table on the patio before or after worship to browse through the Lenten study books the clergy are recommending for church-wide study. Which Way Lord? by Robert Fuquay costs $6. Renovate, which the Young Adults will follow beginning February 11, on Sundays at 12:30 pm in G2, costs $10. We’ll have a list of all the groups who will participate in each study included in Sunday’s Looking Ahead. Ash Wednesday services will be at 12 noon in the chapel and 6:30 pm in the sanctuary on February 14. Read More.