Don’t worry – Be Happy. How many times have you heard this? How many times have you followed this advice? If you are like most people, not very many times. Worry is built into our psyche, in my opinion, and can be used as a teaching tool to strengthen our personal relationship with God. Sound crazy? Read on.

Each person is responsible for their own path in life, including successes, failures, and the timeframe it takes to reach the end result of goals and desires. Reality should not be discarded in recognizing a multitude of factors can alter the journey in ways that can accelerate, deter, or change the course of direction, altogether. However, anyone that sets positive goals for themselves and is diligent will accomplish what they set out to do. There is a desire and necessity to control your own destiny, at least to the degree you can.

Whether it is individual personalities or societal demands, the stresses of worry, or feeling it is necessary to fit the situation, can move to the forefront of daily life. It can be coupled with the underlying conscious or subconscious need for control within ourselves. Yes, it is important to be responsible for ourselves and to maintain control to apply the proper direction to our own personal journey. However, control can be a dangerous concept when it overrides and becomes the focus. Not only will it steal your joy on a daily basis, but it will also interfere with the personal relationships, including the most important one; the one you have with God.

God instructs us to rely on Him. Yes, I do that, as many people do. In all honesty, though, it can often be generic. Did you ever think about how invested God is in His creation? We are definitely a part of that. However, our investment in Him is so miniscule it would offer no use to compare. Consider this scenario: Life is going well. Time spent in prayer with God and/or reading the Holy Bible is habitual, but without deep thought or substance in what is absorbed. We feel we are “in control”. Priority for time in prayer is moved from the top to somewhere in the middle; all dependent upon other demands for time and circumstances. After all, everything is going well, or at least tolerable. Now consider this scenario: Something has occurred to alter the “life is going well” concept. A plethora of situations could cause this change ranging from illness, financial struggles, job stresses, or just feeling tired/lack of sleep and beyond. And worry. Worry over the circumstances mentioned or other situations. We don’t feel “in control”. Despair is prevalent; mood is dictated by anxiety and depression; hopelessness is at the forefront of thoughts. What do we do? Call out to God; pray often, whisper requests for help, search for answers and comfort through God’s Holy Word, The Bible. We open ourselves and our hearts to receive any feelings of peace that can be mustered. Sound familiar?

The scenarios given are exactly how we react. When all is going well, we minimize the need to walk with God in depth. When life throws negative curves, we immediately cry for help. The generations before me would call that “backward thinking”. We often fail to put God as a priority in our lives and might not give as much sincerity to offering prayers of thankfulness as we do when we are desperate for His help in our own matters. It seems a bit self-serving.

Why are we so resistant? I’m sure it is not because we think we are God, however, actions would reinforce that maybe we think our knowledge is greater than His sometimes. God understands us and has mercy on our shortcomings. He can take a situation of worry and use it to bring us closer to Him. He wants us to be happy and joyful and trust in His word that He will always be there. He can take the worst situation in our lives and give us comfort and peace in return.

How do you get it? The first step, if you haven’t taken it already, is to believe and accept that God sent His Son, Jesus, to die for our sins so that we can have eternal life and that He was resurrected from the grave and lives again. Ask Jesus to dwell in your heart and save you; wash your sins away and make you new again. Then grow in your relationship with God by relying on Him; let Him work it out the worries and struggles in your life, praise Him for your blessings….which by the way are many. Walk through this life with God by your side, in front of you, behind you, with a shield around you. Worry will creep its way back in from time to time, but you will have the alternative to choose peace and have confidence that everything is not on your shoulders to figure out. Rely on your faith and depend on Him.

Lastly, there is no need to wait until you have reached a level of perceived worthiness or expectation you will never make another mistake in your life. God accepts us the way we are with all of our shortcomings. Stop worrying; He’s waiting. You can’t control everything. Give it all over to Him; your worries, your troubles; your life. You will find a happiness and a peace you have never known.

I’ll see you on the flip side……

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