Don’t Worry, Be Happy
One of my favorite songs is “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”. It is such a simple phrase with such huge implications. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus commands His followers to stop worrying. This is a breathtaking command to which many of us would say “yeah right”. It really does seem impossible, doesn’t it? Is it even possible for us to stop worrying? What seems impossible for us as humans becomes completely possible through the work of God in our lives.
Remember, the Sermon on the Mount is an introduction to the Kingdom Life, a life radically different than the norm. It is so against human nature that to live it is like writing with your weak hand…..it’s unnatural!! Yet, it is this radical life that Jesus calls His disciples to live. One of the elements of this radical life is a departure from worry and anxiety.
In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus teaches us why worry is destructive and wasteful. First, worrying is a total waste of time because it changes NOTHING about our situation or our future. He reminds us that no one has ever added to his or her life by worrying and becoming anxious. Think about the times you’ve agonized over the mere possibility of something happening that actually never took place. Jesus loves us too much to allow us to take part in this ridiculous activity unchecked.
In these verses, Jesus not only tells us to stop worrying, but He also gives us evidence that we have no reason to be anxious if we belong to Him. He tells us to LOOK and CONSIDER. Look at the birds and consider the lilies. Jesus is pointing out that birds and lilies do not fret and worry, yet they are provided all they need. He then powerfully reminds us that we matter so much more to Him than any other part of creation. So why in the world would we worry?
Admittedly, this is not easy. We are hard wired as humans to worry because we desperately want control and we instinctively lack trust in our Father. This started way back in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve allowed their trust in God to waver and their desire for control and freedom led to their fall. We live to this day under the consequences of that decision. Thankfully, through the second Adam, Jesus Christ, we who believe in Him are redeemed. We don’t have to bow down to the destructive power of worry and anxiety. The cross is forever a reminder that we are loved and will always be provided all that we need. We can take deep JOY in this truth. Jesus is enough!