Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Don't Worry! Be Happy!

Luke 12:22-34 (New International Version)

Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?" "Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well." "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

In 1988 the famous human rhythmic percussionist Bobby McFerrin wrote, recorded and released a song called "Don't Worry Be Happy". This song became an international pop hit which earned Mr. McFerrin three Grammy Awards (Song Of The Year, Record Of The Year, and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance). The fact this simple acapella song touched so many people around the world is proof that it's simple message is a powerful one. For most of us it is hard not to worry (especially when facing a situation where we do not have control over the final result). It is not only the control, but it is also fearing the worse will happen because of our inability to control the situation. For example, if you have a loved one who is sick and you have done everything you can to get this person the best medical care but nothing seems to be working and their health continues to fail. Perhaps you have a business and you have done all you know how to bring in new customers but its not working and the business is going down. It could be that you have an urgent bill you must pay and you've done everything you know how to come up with the money but you were unsuccessful and now the bill is due.

When the outcome is uncertain and looks bad we usually fear the worst. A close friend of mine calls this "awfulizing"! Now "awfulizing" is not an actual word. It is a slang term from the root word "awful" (meaning extremely unpleasant or terrible). My friend once described this by stating that when we are facing our toughest life challenges we tend to awfulize the problem. In other words we look at our situation and then image the worse possible result. Then we continue to focus on this terrible outcome we have imagined fearing it will ultimately happen. This is what my good friend calls, "awfulizing". However my good friend went on by saying the thing we fear the most usually does not happen at all. Therefore we have put so much time and energy into something which turned out to be counterproductive and wasteful. JESUS' message to HIS disciples is a message for all of us. We should not worry about how our daily needs will be met. At the same time we also should not worry about life's biggest challenges. GOD knows what we are in need of. The key is that we put our trust in, and focus on GOD knowing all we need will be provided for us. This does not mean bad things will not happen to us. Instead it is knowing that GOD is with us during the bad times to comfort us, strengthen us and bring us through desperate situations. Even in the worst of times GOD still provides for us. We should not rely on our possessions, our physical abilities, or our knowledge. JESUS says we need to rely on GOD only.

I know from my personal experiences that trusting GOD completely is sometimes easier said than done. One thing I'm learning to do in my own life is simply taking one day at a time. I ask GOD for HIS grace, mercy, favor, strength, love, peace, wisdom (etc), to help me for this specific day. I try not to concern myself with tomorrow. I try to look only for today and ask JESUS to help me through it and thanking HIM for it. In doing this I am finding more peace in my life. Yes I get stressed like everyone else but not nearly as much as I have in the past. This is where GOD's grace comes into play. I am now beginning to understand more of what JESUS is saying to us. Life is a daily walk and we truly should take life one day at a time. Here is another way to look at this idea . . . "How does a person eat an elephant?" The answer is, "One bite at a time." Perhaps we can look at life being like the elephant, and each bite like each day. If we look at the size of the elephant, the idea of eating it at once seems impossible. But the idea of one bite at a time is reasonable. We should all strive to take life one day at a time, seeking GOD (HIS help, wisdom, mercy, strength, love, and peace) throughout the day. We should not worry about our daily life, but trust on rely on GOD to prosper our lives. By doing this we can each live happier lives and represent GOD to others through our lives.

I pray these words have been a blessing for you as they are for me (bringing us in closer relationship with our FATHER). Please feel welcome to reply and share your thoughts by posting them here or privately at tp@terrenceparkermusic.com. If this message has touched your heart and you do not know JESUS CHRIST as your Lord & Savior but want HIM in your life you can accept HIM right now wherever you are. Pray this prayer out loud, "Dear GOD, I ask forgiveness for all of my sins. I believe that JESUS CHRIST is your son. I believe that JESUS suffered and died on the cross, was buried, and was resurrected for me. I accept JESUS as my Lord & Savior. Come now and live in my heart. I accept you as head of my life. In the name of JESUS I thank you, Amen."

If you have just prayed this prayer I say to you "GOD bless you and Congratulations"! If you do not have a church home, pray and ask GOD to lead you to a local (Bible believing) church in your area where you can be baptized in JESUS name, fed the Word of GOD, and fellowship with other Christians.

If you have any questions please send an email to: tp@terrenceparkermusic.com

GOD bless you!

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