Don’t Worry; Be Happy! -1

“Yeah right!  Easy for you to say.  You don’t know the troubles I’m going through–my grief; my loneliness; my sciatica!”  Do you remember the old ditty,  “Don’t Worry; Be Happy?” Did you know the ditty was written by a devout Christian (and an accomplished classical musician) who found the answer to life’s problems in God’s Word?

“Don’t worry; be happy!” Sounds almost moronic to be happy when your life has turned sour.Worry seems embedded in our genes. Fretting over one’s aging automobile or over the growing stack of bills on your dining room table or over your rebellious teenager is normal, isn’t it? That’s life, right?  It can be, but it doesn’t have to be.

When I was a pre-schooler my dad scrambled to start his own business.  Tough times for the entire family.  Many evenings we dined on white bread and milk.  When I think of this meal today I have fond memories. Personally, a pair of socks without holes in the toes or heels was a luxury for me.  No one knew a safety pin often held up my worn out underwear.

Having seen a TV show called, “The Millionaire,” where an agent of a wealthy man handed out checks for a million dollars to people each week, I prayed the dapper-looking agent would come to my door and hand me a check for a million dollars.  And all of my daddy’s problems would be solved.  Never happened.  Some may say my prayer went unanswered. Not true.  As I grew older I realized God supplied my true need, not through a $1,000,000 check, but He corrected my cause for worry. My father’s business grew thus dissolving my reason for fretting.

“Ask and it shall be given you…”  Whenever I pray, God has a 1000 ways to answer my prayers while my feeble imagination can only come up with one.  There are 365 verses in the Bible which say, “Be not afraid.”–a promise a day. Sounds like God has me covered.  How about you?  Habakkuk 3:17 is a great place to practice the adage, “Don’t worry, be happy.”  Good old Habby goes through a list of troubles and then in verse 18 writes, “yet I will rejoice in God my Savior.”  He chooses to rejoice in the Lord.

Each day I can choose to rejoice or choose to fret.  I can choose to give thanks or I can lament my lot in life.  I can choose to allow the Holy Spirit to fill me with JOY straight from the throne of our living God or I can wallow in self-pity.  Why would I want to do that? It’s in God’s joy that my strength lies.  Without that joy I am weak. (Nehemiah 8:0) It’s all in my choice.


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