Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,--Hebrews 12:1

Monday, November 25, 2013

Don't Worry...Be Happy

Worry. Who hasn't been worried? How many of us are worrying over something right now?

This time of year is especially worrisome for many. People without a job. People without a good enough job. People with a job, but too much debt. People with health problems. People with family members with health problems. People whose car is in bad shape. People whose marriages are in bad shape. People with troubled kids. People without kids. People with all kinds of problems are worrying themselves to death, right now in what is supposed to be the "most beautiful time of the year."

But why? And what good does all that worry do?

"Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?" ~ Matthew 5:27

Not a bit. Worry doesn't do one bit of good to the worrier, and that's according to Jesus Christ himself! That's right, straight from the Savior's mouth.

Whether you're worried about health, wealth, yourself, others, the state of your marriage or the state of the union, it doesn't help anything, doesn't heal anything, doesn't fix anything. But still, we worry...over practically everything. How can we stop?

Though I can't say I've completely conquered worry, I can say that I'm blessed to not worry much these days. But for all except the last few years, I was in a state of constant worry. Mostly I worried about money, having enough money. Enough for what? That didn't matter, I just worried that I didn't have enough. And, as Jesus alluded to above, it never did a bit of good.

I make less now than I did then, but I don't worry, and things always seem to work out. It's not that I'm rolling in dough, but we always seem to have enough to get what we need. We don't have enough for lots of extras. We both drive older vehicles with lots of miles. We don't fly to big cities to go shopping. But we always seem to have enough. Enough to eat, enough to clothe ourselves, enough to stay warm and dry, and enough to tithe. We always manage to have enough to meet our needs.

The crazy thing is, we never felt like we had enough when I worried all the time. That's crazy because we actually had MORE than we have now. We had more money, newer and nicer things. We just had more, but it was never enough. How that works I can't explain, other than it's just the way God works. You see, in all those early years of worry, I never sought God's will for my life.

Back then, I was bound and determined to follow my own path, my own will, and rely on my own abilities to make it work. I wanted wealth, not too flaunt, but because I believed wealth would yield comfort, contentment. When I finally gave in and submitted to God's will for my life, quit trying to force things to work my way, a sense of peace came over me for which there is no other explanation but God.

It's not that I'm doing what God wants so He is bestowing upon me all my wants. On the contrary, we have a smaller balance in our bank than we've had in 20 years. We lost our daughter almost three years ago. I do not want to leave the impression that submission to God results in worldly rewards. That's not at all what I'm saying. John 16:33 promises us we'll ALL suffer trials and tribulation on this Earth. Paul tells us numerous times that we will suffer as Christians. And that's the most amazing part of all this...

It's not peace in the way the world defines peace that takes away our worry, and it's not a worldly peace that will lift your worries from your shoulders either. The freedom from worry comes only from faith in Jesus Christ. It's not a promise of health and wealth here on Earth that gives us peace. It's the promise of eternal life through the salvation we receive through faith in Christ.

I'm convinced that without the peace that comes from accepting Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, freedom from worry can't exist. There's not enough money in the world to give us peace. Just look at the number of rich people who commit suicide. There's no man or woman who can love you enough to free you from worry. Just look at the divorce rate in our society today. There's nothing in this world that can offer you peace enough to free you from worry.

That freedom, that peace, only comes from faith in the Son who God sent to pay the price for our sins. We're promised throughout the New Testament that if we believe in Jesus Christ, we'll be saved. We'll pass from this Earth when it's our time and join all other believers in Heaven for eternity. That's what gives us peace. That's what gives us freedom from worry.

Worry can't save you. Worry can't fix you. Worry can't help you. But Jesus can...and He will. So don't worry, be happy. :)

If you don't know Jesus as your personal savior, if you're missing the faith, hope, and love written about here, if you want the peace that we as Christians have in our lives, please visit our Got Jesus? page for step-by-step instructions on how to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.

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