As a rising teen in the late ’80s, I loved the song by Bobby McFerrin “Don’t Worry Be Happy“. It was quirky, fun, and the video was a little odd. The thrust of this song is evident in the title. Be happy and do not let anything get you down because in the end it will all pass. It is true that our experiences on this earth are often fleeting, but this advice to simply “be happy” is lacking in many ways even if it does make for a great song.
Paul deals with the related subject of anxiety in Philippians 4. He tells us to rest our hope and joy upon the Lord. This is probably easier said than done in a world affected by sin. Paul says we should seek the Lord through prayer as opposed to being anxious about the future. A major key to this section of scripture is the statement, “the Lord is at hand.” This is the source of our hope as Christians. We no longer fear or shrink back from the presence of God, but we rest in His presence. To the Christian this is exceptional, but to those outside of Christ this nearness should be frightening.
Rather than resting in anxiousness and settling for a life that is joyless, consider what it means to be an adopted child of the Creator of everything. Meditate on the union we have with Christ, and the many benefits that flow from that union. Our adoption into the family of God is a source of peace and encouragement so let your requests to God flow out of the satisfaction and peace that comes from this union. The peace that surpasses all understanding (Phil 4:7) comes through Christ as we commune with our Father in heaven.