Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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Don’t Worry … Be Happy!

Image Here’s 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.

Bobby McFerrin

The song has a catchy tune, and with certain caveats, properly expresses the attitude that Christians should exhibit toward their lives here on earth. Notice the following passages:

“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things” (Matthew 6:31-32).

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

“Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing” (Psalm 100:2).

The obvious caveats as indicated in the scriptures above are the requirement of service, and trust in the Lord. One who does God’s will, and trusts in God’s promises has no reason to worry, and every reason to live happily upon the earth.
There are two reasons for such a positive outlook on our lives as Christians.

First, we realize that God is ultimately in control. Jesus said, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28). Despite the difficulties that men may inflict upon us, ultimately God is with the Christian. As such, we may rejoice in our hope! “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).

Second, God in His wisdom has supplied us with the knowledge and means to enjoy our lives while on this earth. Happiness is the byproduct of a fulfilled life. Happiness comes from family (Psalm 127:3-5); from labor (Psalm 128:2); from wisdom gained (Proverbs 3:13,18); from showing mercy and kindness (Proverbs 14:21); from honoring and obeying God’s law (Proverbs 29:18); and from an ability to be content (Philippians 4:10-13). How often we see men clamor for happiness by indulging in sinful lives. Any joy they experience is short lived, and leads to ruin, “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation” (Ephesians 5:18). Instead, we should be “filled with the Spirit … giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (5:18, 20).

Ultimately, God is the source of lasting happiness. “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7). He has created us to do His will on this earth (cf. Ecclesiastes 12:13-14). All that is required is that we walk in faith. If we do so, we will be secure in His presence, and in our hope of eternity, based on His mercy and compassion for us. As David sang, “The Lord is my rock, and my fortress and my deliverer” (2 Samuel 22:2).