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Wednesday, July 17, 2013
"Are You Happy?"
"Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength." Nehemiah 8:10
Are you happy? I mean really happy? Look at your own life and see if you are truly happy from within. I believe that Christians are missing the mark about Christian victory and the life of joy in our Saviour. We ought to be standing tall and praising our God! We ought to be the happiest people on earth.
Many churches train their greeters to give the biggest, toothy smile possible. Salesmen are instructed to be outgoing, personable, and excited. But I can sense that kind of display, and when I'm greeted by someone who is smiling because they have been trained to smile, I know it's not genuine. When I shake the hand of most salesmen, it’s like shaking the flipper of a trained seal. We as Christians must be different! We need a sincere happiness that bubbles up from the inside. I believe the sad world is attracted to genuine spiritual sunshine.
Happiness comes by…
1. A personal fellowship with Jesus Christ."And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement" Romans 5:11.
"Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:" 1 Peter 1:8.
Joy comes from fellowship with Jesus. To know Him is to have access to God. When we know Him and His glory, our hearts cannot help but to display a joy that we cannot describe!
2. A servant's heart."Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them." John 13:13-17.
There is a soul satisfying joy that comes from being in service to others. Putting someone else ahead of yourself, and focusing on their needs fulfills the Christian's joy. Jesus made a promise of happiness to anyone of His people who would willingly obey His example of service. No one will enjoy church more than those who have been in service to others all week. When we think and pray for others, and let the Holy Spirit open our eyes to their needs, and then we follow through to meet the need, joy fills our souls. When self-service is removed from our life, happiness overflows the empty space that was left.
3. Enduring our own trials."Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy." James 5:11.
"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2.
When we go through trials, we have a choice to accept it as God's plan, or reject it as bad luck. When we are busy serving God, and to the best of our knowledge we are in right relationship with Him, there is confidence that the trial is God's refining of our life. We must then be patient during the trial, and wait on God, and we will see His pity in the end. When we patiently endure, without complaint, joy fills the soul. Paul and Silas trusted this truth, and they sang in their trial! Oh, did they see the pity of God in a great way!
The reason we have to search for so many things to cheer us up is in the fact that we are not really joyful and truly happy within. But we are Christians, and Christians have every right to be the happiest people on earth.