"Don’t Worry! Be Happy!”

This is something that we all struggle with from time to time. Many say, “Will I have enough money to retire on?” Others are like, “Will I have enough money to feed my family tonight?” Some say, “Will I get that promotion at work?” Still others question, “Will I get that job so I can work?”

We all worry, fret and are apprehensive about one thing or another. John Ortberg said it well when he stated: “Worry is fear that has unpacked its bags and signed a long-term lease.”

It is true that too many are drawing a breath and drawing a salary. Many others are surviving and not thriving. Billy Sunday once said: “Most Christians have just enough religion to make them miserable.” I know what he means but the truth is religion will make you miserable. It takes a relationship with King Jesus to fill you with joy.

In light of this I want to share a scripture that the Apostle Paul penned many years ago. Remember that this was not written from a Five Star Hotel, with wall to wall carpet and room service. He was not sitting in a mountain resort over-looking a ski slope and sipping hot chocolate. No, he was in a jail cell with a guard chained to him. If anyone should have been a nail-bitter, hand-ringer and a floor-pacer it should have been this venerable man of God.

But this is what he wrote: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer.” Can you say, “Wow?” In other words he was saying, “Don’t worry!” The word worry is from a German word that means to choke or strangle. It means to be pulled in different directions. To have your attention divided. Hope pulls one way and fear pulls the other way. Interesting the construction of this in the original Paul was saying, “You are doing this and I want you to stop it now.”

This is a command! It is an imperative! Mark Twain said once: “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life…most of which never happened.” We must adhere to the words of Paul and simply not worry. I say simply but the only way it is simple is in the power of the Holy Spirit. John Ortberg wrote once: “Worry never moves out on its own accord, it must be evicted.”

Paul’s second thought is this: Pray about everything! Greg Laurie has said, “When you pray your problems begin to shrink.” When we try to figure things out on our own we are limited. When we use our own resources they run out. Someone once said that using your own understanding is like a blind man, in a dark room looking for a black cat that is not there.

We must take everything off of our worry list and put it on our prayer list. Warren Wiersbe mentioned once that, “Worry is an inside job.” This is so true! It would be wise of us to take George Muller’s advice when he said: “The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith and the beginning of faith is the end of anxiety.” Let’s worry about NOTHING and Pray about EVERYTHING! The song writer Bobby McFerrin had it right when he wrote: “Don’t Worry and Be Happy!”