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"Don't Worry Be Happy"

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Philippians 4:6-7

Don't worry be happy, those are the lyrics to a hit song thats easy to sing but hard to put into practice. To this very day I've yet to meet a person who enjoys worrying. Most of us who do worry from time to time recognize it to be wrong (polite word for sinful) and readily admit that worrying has no lasting benefit to our overall health and well being. We worry about all sorts of things and when questioned by others as to why we often get offended and feel as if the person doesn't understand the nature of the problem for if they did they would be worrying too. I'm reminded of the old saying, "ignorance is bliss" as knowing too much can get in the way of simple abiding faith, trusting in Jesus. I guess the Lord was right to warn us not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil as all that would accomplish is more things to worry about that we can't control.

In Matthew 6:25-33, Jesus makes His thoughts about worry crystal clear, "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life. And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."

So why is worry wrong? First, worry puts the focus on the wrong things. Worry tends to cause us to look at life through a magnifying glass instead of a telescope. Have you ever heard the expression, "You are making a mountain out of a molehill?" Thats exactly what worrying does. Worrying distorts our ability to think clearly and it robs us of life by making more out of something than we should.

Second, Worry causes us to forget whose we are. We belong to God, we are the sheep of His pasture, His children and He has promised to take care of us. Recall Jesus words in Matthew 7:7-9, "Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" Worry is sin and each time we start to worry we are confronted with the question, Do I trust God?". If I do trust God, I learn to cast my cares upon Him knowing He cares for me. If I don't believe that God cares for me then I will attempt to carry burdens until they wear me out and rob me of the joy I might otherwise have.

Third, Worry is simply wasted time and energy as Jesus said, "who by worrying can add a single hour to his life." Doctors will tell you and the medical evidence overwhelmingly will support that over 90% of all physical aliments treated for in hospitals began as emotional stress. Worry, and anxiety and stress are deadly and is exactly why God invites us to bring all our worries to Him.

So, whats the solution to worry? Trust in God and the best way to do that is in prayer. Next time you get the urge to worry, stop and pray. Take all your cares and bring them to Jesus in prayer. Don't try to figure out your problems, just give them over to God and instead of seeking answers, ask God for peace that surpasses understanding. The apostle Paul writes in Philippians 4:7, "and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Think about it, knowledge of your situation doesn't bring you peace. Often times knowing the answers to our stresses brings greater anxiety and worry in our lives.

God invites us to receive what knowledge can't provide, and that is His peace. God wants you and I to learn to trust Him, to rest in the fact that He is in control and that everything you and I will face today first has to go through God to get to us. Did you get that, everything, and I mean everything must first pass through the filter of God's love before it reaches us. That is so comforting to know.

If you are in Christ, you are in good hands today, loved one, safe in the hands of Jesus who is safe in the hands of the Father. Thats double coverage! If you believe that then don't worry today, be happy! Cast all your cares on Jesus knowing He cares so very much about you! Don't go it alone, don't attempt to carry your burdens. Lay them down one by one at Jesus feet in prayer and with thanksgiving knowing God is listening and there to help you, make your requests known to God knowing all the while, 

"And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus."

Philippians 4:19


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