Don’t Worry Be Happy

Focal Passage:

“This is why I tell you: Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they? Can any of you add a single cubit to his height by worrying? And why do you worry about clothes? Learn how the wildflowers of the field grow: they don’t labor or spin thread. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these! If that’s how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, won’t He do much more for you—you of little faith? So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the idolaters eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. Matthew 6: 25-33

I have to say I had second thoughts about choosing this topic. I feel somewhat like a hypocrite writing about it because I struggle with this myself. It’s very difficult, to say the least, to lead a worry free life. But that’s what Jesus tells us to do in the scripture above.

I’m sure you noticed I borrowed the title of this study from that catchy little reggae tune of the same name. I’ve never thought about it before, but this song title is actually scriptural. If you’ll look closely at the first and last verses in the passage above, that’s exactly what it is saying. In essence, the first verse is the opposite of the last. When we worry, we are not seeking Him first…and we’re not happy.

Is it a sin to worry? The Bible doesn’t say so directly, but we can conclude this from the Scripture. We are commanded over and over that we are not to be anxious or worry about anything. And when we do, we are failing to trust God and to do what He tells us. It opens the door of our lives to Satan.

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:6-8

The Greek word for “anxious” is “merimnao”, and it carries the idea of being “divided into parts”…or we might use the phrase, “go to pieces”. It can also carry the meaning of being distracted. Satan loves it when we are distracted from God. Distraction is one of his greatest tools. It happens when we take our eyes off Jesus.

Remember in the book of Matthew when Peter wanted to walk on water like Jesus? He had sent his disciples on ahead by boat, and during the night a great storm came…they were terrified:

But the boat was already over a mile from land, battered by the waves, because the wind was against them. Around three in the morning, He came toward them walking on the sea. When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost!” they said, and cried out in fear. Matthew 14: 24-26

At Peters request, Jesus told him to come to Him on the water:

“Come!” He said. And climbing out of the boat, Peter started walking on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the strength of the wind, he was afraid. And beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out His hand, caught hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:29-31

Peter was with a group of men who had seen Jesus perform countless miracles. They had just the day before witnessed Him feed over 5,000 people with a young boy’s lunch of 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. Yet with Jesus right in front of him he was terrified. Peter did what I do when I worry…He took his eyes off Jesus. We all do.

I’ve seen miracles too…the every day type. The seasons change like clockwork…the sun rises and sets every day…the acorn becomes the mighty oak…I watched our daughter being born…and miracle of miracles, I’ve seen Him change a heart.

Yet, I still yield to pressure, I still lose faith from time to time. Sometimes when I worry, the back of my neck just tightens up from the stress…but deep inside, I know better. My point is this; like Peter we have hope in a Savior who lives! When the winds roar and waves crash, we need only to call on Him, and He will plant our feet on solid ground.

So what is the answer? It’s in the last verse of the Scripture passage at the top of the page “…seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…”. How cool is that? When we seek Him first, He takes all that anxiety and stress away…we can lay our worries upon Him. What and awesome God we serve!

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30. 

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