Don’t Worry, Be Happy!
“Don’t Worry, Be Happy ” is a song by American musician Bobby McFerrin released in 1988. It was the first a cappella song to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It stayed at number one for two weeks. The lyrics of the song present many of the problems of life … no bed, the rent is late, no money, no one to love. And throughout the song the advice is simple, “Don’t worry, be happy.”
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just tell yourself to stop worrying and be happy instead – and that actually worked?
I have tried to talk myself out of worry many times. It has never worked very well for me. I might have postponed the panic for a while, put a smile on my face so that no one could tell, but I was never able to remove worry from my heart and mind. Inside I still quaked!
Fortunately, God does not tell us to just “Don’t worry, be happy.” No, He gives us more than advice, He gives us a way to eliminate anxiety from our lives and to live in peace.
“Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” [Philippians 4:6 HCSB]
God tells us not to worry about anything. That is the goal. Then He tells us how to make that goal happen. In everything through prayer and petition, combined with thanksgiving, we are to take all our requests to Him.
Everything that might cause anxiety in us is to be presented first to Him. We do that through prayer. We petition God for His peace and His joy to flood us. We offer thanksgiving in anything and everything knowing that He will provide that “perfect peace” in our hearts and minds. It does not make sense on a human level, that is why “perfect peace” is defined as “a peace which surpasses understanding.”
“And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” [Philippians 4:7 HCSB]
There is much in this world which causes worry and anxiety. Just telling ourselves to ‘be happy’ is not going to work. But if we follow God’s direction, we can have a peace that is supernatural and perfect.