Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – November 16, 2020
But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. David said about him: “‘I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest in hope, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, you will not let your holy one see decay. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence. Acts 2:24-28
Recently, attempting to declutter—I lost my wallet. The thought of replacing my drivers license, credit cards and health insurance id robbed my joy. I was not a happy camper! Where could I have misplaced those little plastic pieces that held my happiness hostage? I had slipped into a mind-set of my stuff determining whether I had joy or grief, peace or chaos, love or fear. My wife Rita helped me retrace my steps and remarkably, I had stacked my wallet with the recycled papers. There it lay in the bin on top of the pile, out of place and oblivious to my grateful relief.
Peter, in his powerful preaching at Pentecost, proclaimed to the diversity of his hearers how to find happiness. Happiness from money? No. Happiness from vocational acclaim? No. Happiness from family alone? No. Happiness from having health? No. Happiness is found in a heart who has found God in the resurrected Christ! Here in the comfort of your Creator is where your body finds rest in hope. Here through the Holy Spirit’s guidance you find paths of life. Here in the sweet presence of your Savior Jesus is where you find fulfilling joy. Happiness is from God!
“Will they find delight in the Almighty? Will they call on God at all times” (Job 27:10)?
Has happiness become elusive in your home? Has the crazy cycle of criticism and conflict highjacked your heart’s peace and joy? Or maybe money has been elevated to an unhealthy position of influence, so slowly over time affluence has become your source of happiness. Take an audit of your heart and make sure you are “seeking first the kingdom of God”, and not allowing the politics of the day to cause you to have a bad day. Kings, Presidents, Senators and Representatives will one day bow to the King of Kings, and confess Jesus Christ is Lord, amen!
Find your joy in Jesus. Rewrite your life script so your path for living is found in following the living Christ. Renew your mind each day with the truth of the Word, and the living Word Jesus will give you just the right word for His will. Happiness is discovered by doing God’s will. The recipe for a happy life is found in the Beatitudes (Jesus’ CliffsNotes on how to live life). Look for love in the right place—the love of your heavenly Father—His heart offers you a happy heart. In this world we inhale impurities, but we also breathe in God’s pure love—and exhale happiness!
“Our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 1:5-6).
Heavenly Father, lead me to look for love and happiness in you and not in any other competing affections, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
What do I need to stop doing and what do I need to start doing to cultivate a happy life?
1 Chronicles 29:22; Psalm 16:11, 21:6; 1 Thessalonians 2:19, 3:9; Jude 1:24
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