Rejoice in God and cast your care on Him.
Around 1990 Rita and I were walking through the narrow
streets of a village in Germany after dark when two teenage
boys sauntered past singing, Don’t worry. Be happy.
This refrain from Bobby McFerrin’s song expresses two
teachings of Christ. Do not worry about your life (Matthew
6:25) and Rejoice and be exceedingly glad (Matthew 5:12).
This does not mean that we have no troubles. As Bobby
McFerrin sings: In every life we have some trouble. When you
worry you make it double.
Christians rejoice in God and cast their cares on Him.
Worry is excessive concern.
Do not worry about your life (Matthew 6:25). Anxiety in
the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it
glad (Proverbs 12:25).
Christians need not worry because God has promised: I
will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).
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).
A distinction must be made between healthy concern and
worry. Emotional involvement in problems is not wrong. It can
lead to constructive action. Paul spoke of his deep concern for
all the churches (2 Corinthians 11:28).
There is a big difference, however, between thinking about
a problem and worrying about a problem. Worry involves a
feeling of dread and anxiety that is negative, depressing,
exhausting and paralyzing.
Materialism causes much worry. We worry when we are
overly concerned about material and temporal things. Jesus
explained: No one can serve two masters; for either he will
hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the
one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and
mammon. [Mammon is the god of money.] Therefore I say to
you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you
will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life
more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the
birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into
barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of
more value than they? (Matthew 6:24-26).
When we see how richly God provides for life on earth, we
know that He will care for us as well. For your heavenly Father
knows that you need all these things. But seek first the
kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things
shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow,
for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the
day is its own trouble (Matthew 6:32-34).1 Worry pulls
tomorrow’s clouds over today’s sunshine.
Trusting in the providence of God, we can take life as it
comes. Jesus does not deny that we have troubles. He just tells
us to deal with them one day at a time. Each day, God will give
us what we need for that day. Jesus tells us to pray, Give us
day by day our daily bread (Luke 11:3).
Paul also tells us to pray rather than worry: Be anxious
for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with
thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God
(Philippians 4:6). Praying and thankfully counting our blessings
puts our troubles into perspective.
I once saw an amusing wall plaque: Why pray when you
Worry is futile. If you can do something about a problem,
ask God for help and get to work. If you can do nothing about a
problem, turn it over to God in prayer.
God wants us to be happy. Rejoice and be exceedingly
glad (Matthew 5:12). Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in
everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus
for you (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
In Christ we have the joy of salvation. After the Philippian
jailer was baptized he rejoiced, having believed in God with all
his household (Acts 16:34). The Ethiopian eunuch went on his
way rejoicing after he was baptized by Philip (Acts 8:39).
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace
with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we
have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and
rejoice in hope of the glory of God (Romans 5:1, 2). We rejoice
in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have
now received the reconciliation (Romans 5:11).
The joy that dwells in the heart of a Christian does not
preclude grief. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with
those who weep (Romans 12:15). Jesus wept even when He
knew He would raise Lazarus from the dead. But we are never
defeated by grief.
Even in the darkest hour we can have inner happiness
because we have hope. The resurrection of Christ is the
foundation of our hope of eternal life.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to
a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the
dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that
does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept
by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be
revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though
now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by
various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much
more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by
fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation
of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now
you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy
inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith
the salvation of your souls (1 Peter 1:3-9).
We can rejoice even in the midst of persecution: Blessed
are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds
of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be
exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so
they persecuted the prophets who were before you (Matthew
Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they
exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, for
the Son of Man’s sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! for
indeed your reward is great in heaven, for in like manner their
fathers did to the prophets (Luke 6:22, 23).
Peter explains: Beloved, do not think it strange
concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some
strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that
you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is
revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy (1 Peter
Jesus tells His followers: Rejoice because your names are
written in heaven (Luke 10:20). We rejoice because Jesus has
gone to prepare a place for us in heaven (John 14:1-3, 27, 28).
Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord (Philippians
3:1). Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
Don’t worry. Be happy. Rejoice in God and cast your care on Him.
1 See also Luke 12:22-31.
The Scripture quotations in this article are from The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982, Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers unless indicated otherwise. Permission for reference use has been granted.
Published in The Old Paths Archive