By Ernest O'Neill

Worry and Anxiety Paralyze You

By Rev. Ernest O'Neill

So, loved ones, worry, and anxiety paralyze you. That's why God says, "Rejoice. I want you to be happy." If you say to me, "Well, I wouldn't say I'm unhappy and I wouldn't say I'm happy. I am somewhere in the middle. I'm usually pretty neutral. In fact, you might say almost half dead. That's just the way I go along."

Loved ones, rejoicing is a positive thing. Rejoicing is rejoicing. Rejoicing is thinking of the wonderful breakers on the Hawaiian beaches and thinking "that's my God." The freshness in those waves is stale compared with the freshness in His heart. He is fresh compared with those things. Think of going down those beautiful ski slopes, the openness and exhilaration and you say to yourself, "My God is far more exhilarating than those slopes. They are just the things He has made, but you should see HIM!"

You rejoice in the great God and the dear Father who has made even the beautiful things that we see around us in our world. That's what the Father wants us to do. He does not want a lot of fretting, old, anxious ridden people. He wants children who trust Him. You dads and moms, you know it. You would be just devastated if your children trusted you as little as many of us trust our dear Father. If your children fretted and worried as much as you and I fret and worry, you know you would be devastated by it.

After it's all said and done I'll go by your tombstone (because I am going for 95 or 96 years). After I go by your tombstone, look at the name, and look back on your life, suddenly it comes to me as it comes to you, "Was it worth it?" It wasn't worth it at all. The thing turned out alright anyway. Despite my worry or anxiety, the thing turned out okay. I didn't achieve anything by what I did.

Loved ones, that's it. There's a dear verse in Ecclesiastes and some scholars would say, "Oh it's a little bit Greek in its philosophy." But it really is just a blessing. It's Ecclesiastes 3:12. "I know that there is nothing better for them than to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live; also that it is God's gift to a man that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil." That's it.

The Lord has put us here to rejoice in Him, to be happy, and not to be sad or burdened with anxiety. I share this with you because society lives without God and it will become increasingly ridden with anxiety. It will become increasingly oppressed with worry and anxiety. So it's very important that you and I who know our God and Father become increasingly preoccupied with rejoicing. It's vital that you do not live in the oppression and the heaviness of our society.

So, you read as much of Time magazine as you can bear to read without losing your joy. You read as much of the New York Times as you can bear to read without losing your rejoicing attitude. You do not live in the midst of the oppression of our present society. God's will is for us to rejoice and to rejoice always.