Don’t Worry Be Happy
Don't Worry, Be Happy (Bob Marley Lyrics)
Here is a little song I wrote
You might want to sing it note for note
Don't worry be happy
In every life we have some trouble
When you worry you make it double
Don't worry, be happy......
There is this little song I wrote
I hope you learn it note for note
Like good little children
Don't worry, be happy
Listen to what I say
In your life expect some trouble
But when you worry
You make it double
Don't worry, be happy......
Don't worry don't do it, be happy
Put a smile on your face
Don't bring everybody down like this
Don't worry, it will soon past
Whatever it is
Don't worry, be happy
Well that it’s easier to sing than it is to do. I think we all worry. Some of us are just better at it – maybe it is worse at it. Some people worry over big things and some over little things. But we all worry.
It’s hard to preach a sermon on not worrying because we’re all guilty of worrying. I can look out here this morning and see some of you who have gone through things that I have never had to experience, and so it’s hard for me to simply say to you, “Don’t worry.”
I know that worry is relative to each of our situations and I also know that it’s not the easiest thing to just stop worrying. And while it may be easy to acknowledge that we need to worry less, it’s another thing to accomplish that.
- We know we shouldn’t worry but it’s not so easy to accomplish. And one of the worst realities about worry this morning is not just that it’s present but how we respond to it.
- When we worry, when we are upset over the latest setback, when the crap hits the fan – when we receive bad news: like losing a job, Social Security is in jeopardy, when you have a major argument with your spouse, when our child gets sick, when the news from the doctor’s office doesn’t sound good we begin to worry.
- Is God, the only one who can offer the cure for hurt and worry?
The only President to not use a Bible at his inauguration is Franklin Pierce. Two weeks prior to the inauguration, he and his wife and their only son were going to Concord, New Hampshire when their train car left the tracks. It went down a hill. They were unhurt but their only son was killed. He brooded about it and couldn’t understand why God would let something like that happen, and he refused to use a Bible at his inauguration.
Helen Hayes was a famous American actress many, many years ago. She and her husband had only one daughter. That daughter died at the age of 18 from polio. A few years later Helen’s husband died at a young age, however Helen lived to be in her eighties. When asked why her husband died at such an early age, she said it was because he could not get over asking why. He worried about their daughter’s death until it killed him.
Matthew 6:25-34 (NIV)
25 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?
26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
28 "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.
29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.
30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31 So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'
32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Let me define worry - it is to torment oneself with or suffer from disturbing thoughts; fret.
The word for worry is derived from an Anglo-Saxon word which means to choke or to strangle.
- Now worry is not the same as concern. Concern says this is an issue and I’m going deal with it and with God’s help I can get through it. Worry says "I don’t know" I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t know if I’ll get through. I just don’t know.
- I want to emphasize that worry is one of the Devils greatest weapons. It will steal your joy, steal your contentment, and steal your happiness. And we become so wrapped up in worry about tomorrow, worry about yesterday, that we never find peace today.
- And what’s ridiculous is that so often we worry about things that never happen.
- We have the tendency to worry about things that aren’t even there or haven’t even taken place yet.
- I’m not sure where this came from, but I saw the statistics that when it comes to worry:
- 40% of the time we worry about things that will never happen,
- 30% concern things that can’t be changed,
- 12% center in on criticism, mostly untrue, made by people who feel inferior,
- 10% relate to health which worsens when you worry,
- And only 8% are legitimate concerns which you can do something about.
We’re like the patient in the mental hospital, holding his ear close to the wall, listening intently. The nurse finally approaches him and says “What are you doing.” “Shhh!" he says. And he keeps listening. And finally the patient beckons the nurse over and says, “Listen.” The nurse presses hers ear to the wall for a long time. And she finally says, "I can’t hear a thing," And the patient says, "Yea, and it’s been like that all day!"
I heard someone say that worry is like putting your car in neutral and revving the engine. It burns oil and gas and is hard on the engine and it really doesn’t get you anywhere.
there are several reasons why the Bible warns us against worrying:
1. WORRY EXHIBITS A LACK OF TRUST IN GOD - When we trust God we do not worry. Worry says, “I’ve got a problem and I don’t think God can take care of me through it.”
2. WORRY AFFECTS OUR RELATIONSHIPS - I’ve noticed in my life that when I have something important that I have to do or some crucial decision coming up I’m not the most pleasant person to be around. I can be a lot of fun after that thing or event passes. But when we’re stressing over some upcoming event, when we’re feeling the pressure, it affects our relationships with each other.
3. WORRY DAMAGES OUR HEALTH - A great percentage of our illnesses is in some way related to worry and anxiety and stress. The number one killer in America is heart disease. 38% of all deaths are heart related and many of those are related to hypertension, high blood pressure and anxiety. Job 5:2 (NIV) says that 2 Resentment kills a fool, and envy slays the simple. What it is saying is that “to worry yourself to death with resentment would be a foolish, senseless thing to do.
- “Studies are linking more and more modern diseases to an epidemic of deadly emotions in our culture.” And stress and anxiety top that list.
4. WORRY HINDERS OUR WITNESS - Titus 2:10 says that in every way we need to make the teachings of Jesus more attractive to people. We don’t do that when we worry. When we get so worried about things that they consume us and we miss opportunities that God has placed before us to impact people with our faith or we impact them negatively because our worries exhibit a lack of faith.
- I mean think about it. What kind of faith does it reveal to someone when we are so worried about every little detail of life?
- Do you ever stop to think, “You know, I am really presenting a picture here that I don’t believe my God can handle this problem.” That’s what we’re presenting.
so what causes worry?
- THE AFFLUENCE OF OUR AGE
We think the more we have, the more security there is. Not a chance. The more we have, the more we have to worry about
- Ecclesiastes 5:12 (NIV) The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether he eats little or much, but the abundance of a rich man permits him no sleep.
- Do you worry more about that new car, or about that old Junker sitting out in the back yard? Do you worry more about those new clothes or about those old jeans you use to clean out the garage?
- The more we have, the more we have to worry about. Things, possessions, cause many people to worry.
- ANOTHER CAUSE OF WORRY IS THE MEDIA
CNN, Headline News, Fox News, etc. We have global news brought into our house every day. We have Newspapers that bring to us the troubles of the world. What do we see in one day? Bombings, murder, war, Juvenile crime, political corruption. And that’s supplied to us daily. And everything is supplied from the negative viewpoint.
- Think about the weather – what do they say? Do you know what today’s forecast calls for? It calls for a 10% chance of rain. – How come they never say 90% chance of sunshine. It’s always from the negative.
- It’s good to be informed, but I think you also have to realize that the media has to sell. They have to make it crucial and important and embellish it.
- You know what the 10:00 PM commercial teaser is. They say, here’s the verdict in a trial or a report on the debt ceiling on at 11:00 PM and they say it in a way to get you to watch it. What if they came on at 10:00 and said nothing exciting happened today, we’re going run a couple of black and white clips of Father Knows Best - we suggest you go to bed.
- A THIRD CAUSE FOR WORRY IS SIMPLY LIFE EXPERIENCE. It seems the older you get the more you have to worry about.
- It seems we have more to worry about as we age. My dad use to think everything was a challenge – now everything is a worry.
- We worry as your kids get older. We worry about who are kids are hanging out with and then we worry about them if they become couch potatoes. We worry about who date or we worry about them not dating. We worry that they won’t get in college and then we finally get them in college then we worry they won’t graduate.
- My dad use to say that you are danged if do and you’re danged if you don’t. That is worry.
- A FOURTH CAUSE OF WORRY IS OUR PACE OF LIFE.
Every thing is so fast. Fax machines, cellular phones, E-MAIL, everything is go, go, go. We seldom relax and I really doubt God intended our nervous systems to live at the kind of pace we put them through. That’s why he called for a mandatory day of rest.
- Remember when I defined the word worry as being derived from an Anglo-Saxon word which means to choke or to strangle. And that’s what worry does to our joy, to our spiritual life, to our friendships. We’re talking about something very, very serious.
- I heard about the golfer that was having a terrible day. first he sliced his ball into some bushes, then he hit it out of the bushes into a sand trap, then he hit it out of the sand trap and over the highway into a field, and then he hit it out of the field right into some woods. And he went looking for the ball, his friend said why don’t you just leave it. He said, “I can’t he said, that’s my lucky ball.”
Well we need more than luck, we need answers.
John 14:1 - Do not let your heart be troubled." Can I say my heart is never troubled? I can’t.
Phil.4:6 - Do not be anxious in anything." Can I say I’m never anxious? No I can’t. And so we need a solution. We need an answer.
How do I live the worry free life? And here are four clues.
- SLOW DOWN - I think there is a correlation between hurry and worry. They are intertwined with each other. And maybe one of the reasons we worry so much is that we are part of a society that is more on the clock and in a hurry than ever before.
- I read the story several years ago about a city that was having problems with their busses. Busses were driving right past passengers at the bus stops. It caused quite a stir in the newspapers. The Transit Authorities decided to answer the questions by putting out a press release in order to explain the situation. That press release has become infamous in public relations classes: “It is impossible for us to maintain our schedules if we are always having to stop and pick up passengers.”
- When we are in we sometimes miss the main things
- John Ortberg pinpoints this in his article, Taking Care of Busyness. He says, "For most of us, the great danger is not that we will renounce our faith. It is that we will become so distracted and rushed and preoccupied that we will settle for a mediocre version of it. We will just skim our lives instead of actually living them."
- And it’s relational that everyone hurries and everyone worries. And somewhere along the line we need to slow down so that can be reminded of what really matters. We need to slow down and reflect on the promises of God. We need to slow down and remember that:
- God is able to do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine.
- All things work together for the good of those that love the Lord.
- Greater is he that is in me then he that is in the world.
- Our present sufferings are not worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed
- God created the heavens and the earth
- In my father’s house are many mansions
- The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not be in want
- There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus
- LIVE ONE DAY AT A TIME - Don’t borrow tomorrow’s worries today. Worry is experiencing a crisis before it happens. Don’t do that. We spend great portions of our time fretting over future things that we can do nothing about.
- What if there is an earthquake, or cancer, or an accident. "What if" are worries favorite words.
- KEEP A LONG TERM PERSPECTIVE - A third cure for worry is to keep a long-term perspective. Jesus said focus on heaven, seek first the kingdom. Develop an eternal perspective.
- If I knew my house was going to burn down tomorrow, how much time would I spend worrying about how to decorate it today? And 10 years from now, 50 years from now, certainly 100 years from now a lot of things we worry about won’t make a bit of difference.
- It will not make any difference that you are five pounds overweight, or that your child didn’t make all stars, or that your spouse put a dent in the fender. What will count is your heart, your character, your generosity, and most importantly your salvation.
- So slow down, don’t borrow tomorrow’s worries, keep a long term perspective.
- REMEMBER GOD’S FAITHFULNESS Learn to trust the providence of God. Birds trust God to supply their needs however God does not come along and drop the worms in their mouths. Trusting God doesn’t mean we are lazy and indifferent, but it does mean we come to the point that we can know that God will provide what I really need.
- And by worrying we actually are calling God a liar. We are saying to God, I know you can keep the sun in orbit. I know that you can sustain all life on earth. I know that you can answer prayers all over the world at once. I know that you have always been in control in the past...but I don’t believe you can take care of the problem I’m going through now. Prov.3:5-6 Trust the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight. And worry says I don’t believe He can do it.
Said the robin to the sparrow, I would really like to know, Why those anxious human beings, rush and worry so.
Said the sparrow to the Robin, I think it must be, They have no heavenly father like the one that cares for you and me
Worry says, I don’t believe God can handle this one. And God says, try me.
Maybe this morning as we sing our invitation we can make a decision that you will give over that one thing that has really been worrying you. And you’re going to give that over to God and put your trust in Him and know that all things will work together for the good of those that love him.