The Shafter Press - Serving the community since 1922

Pastor's Corner - May 9, 2019

Don’t worry, be happy


[BEGIN ITAL]“For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me,

And what I dreaded has happened to me.”[END ITAL] Job 3:25

As a boy growing up, I would often hear my Dad say, “Boy, that guy has the patience of Job.” So I grew up thinking our forefather Job was known for his patience. It was only later that I learned of his wealth, fame and integrity as well as being a man who feared and revered God -- and was indeed full of patience.

However, this short verse at the very beginning of the rather “long” book of prose in the Old Testament sheds a little light on a small character flaw in this great Patriarch of the scriptures. It seems that Mr. Job was given to a “bent” toward the propensity to [BEGIN ITAL]worry.[END ITAL] A characteristic neither unknown nor uncommon to all of humanity and one that literally “wreaks” havoc at one time or another in our lives. “The reason why worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work.” (Robert Frost)

Corrie ten Boom, the great missionary to the Jews of WWII, is quoted as saying that “Worry is like a rocking chair, it keeps you moving but never gets you anywhere.” Leo Buscaglia reminds us, “Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.” So many men and women in our society today worry more about not reaching a goal than working to achieve the accomplishment of worthwhile dreams and goals.

A study done many years ago, reported that over 93% of all things given over to worry [BEGIN ITAL]never[END ITAL] happen. Think about that only seven percent of our worries [BEGIN ITAL]actually [END ITAL]take place, and of the 7% that do happen a major portion of them take place to a much lesser degree than what we worried they would. Fortunately for all of us in America, our founding fathers forsook the exercise of worry and forged ahead to form and fashion our great Republic. Thomas Jefferson later in his life often quoted, “How much pain they have cost us, the evils which have never happened.”

Jesus, in His famous sermon, teaches, [BEGIN ITAL]“Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?”[END ITAL] (NKJV) Later, in that same paragraph concerning worry (Matthew 6:25-34), He exhorts my favorite. It became one of my favorites while I was studying Greek during my theological training in Dallas. Our Greek professor, Dr. John Burns, when we students would try to get him to “tip his hand” concerning the possibility of a quiz the following day, would retort his own rendition of Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:34: [BEGIN ITAL]“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”[END ITAL] (NKJV)

[BEGIN ITAL]Worry doesn't help tomorrow's troubles, but it does ruin today's happiness. [END ITAL] Anonymous

[BEGIN ITAL]Jim Neal is pastor of First Southern Baptist Church in Shafter.


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