But if you pray to God and seek the favor of the Almighty and if you are pure and live with integrity, he will surely rise up and restore your happy home.And though you started with little, you will end with much.
I woke up late today. Forgot to set my alarm so I am ever so thankful that my husband has one built inside his body or things could have been much worse. Truthfully, it did not even faze me as I rolled out of bed more less par for the course lately. When the enemy couldn’t take us out with the mountain (cancer), he has decided to attempt to bury our faith in pebbles. Endless little things that are beginning to add up with minor inconveniences that burden an already hectic schedule, all of it making the load of life quite heavy right now. It is a call to persevere and find joy in the pain. Just as problem is resolved or the load shifted to the Lord, another one comes. Cars breaking down, appliances stop working, schedules begin conflicting, enemies rise up, and cancer seems to prevail. Being stretched to the point of breaking, it would seem as though we might break. But the Lord did not simply call us to persevere through our problems and barely hang on. He calls for happiness in the midst of it all. On the days that end with sanctification barely intact, the Holy Spirit whispers, “Be happy!” My joy is not in this world but tucked away safe and secure in an unseen kingdom in the strong arm of a Overcomer who solved every problem and paid every price. How does one count it all joy when all hell is breaking loose? (James 1:2) There have been so many times over the past year as others pray for us and love us through this journey that we encounter those who weep over my son. He will quickly whisper to me “the Lord has sent us to comfort them”. How can that be when cancer invades his body trying to steal his dreams? It is true. We have been called to a life of happiness filled with joy EVEN when encountered trials and opposition from and enemy who is relentless. Our confident hope in the Lord allows us to bless others in the midst of trial and storm because our faith is built on nothing less than Jesus Blood and righteousness. As the song continues, “I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus Name!”
Job’s friends were relentless in their hammering of the poor guy in the midst of his sorrow and suffering. Though they lacked understanding of God’s Word, they continued to give good advice. The secret to a happy home and joy-filled life is pray to God, seek His Favor (in His Word), live pure and with integrity and the Lord will raise you up and restore happiness in your life. A promise is attached that is overlooked in survival mode. God will bless those who start with little and they will end with much! A little faith will become abounding faith. Limited resources will become an abundant harvest. A moment of endurance will become overcoming perseverance. A little happiness will become peace and joy as the Love of God overtakes you! God is preparing you and positioning you for blessing! It is time to get happy! Confident hope allows such joy, peace and happiness in the midst of your situation because you know the answer before the solution arrives.
Luke 12:31-32 (NLT)
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need. So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.
The key to happiness in the life of a Christian is in the pursuit. It all depends what you are after. If you are looking for God’s Blessing in this life to affect the circumstances and living conditions on the earth, then it is not God you are after but simply His Hand. Those who are after the Lord make the transition from this world into His Kingdom and live according to faith and righteousness in a place they cannot see. To seek the Kingdom of God above all else is to access your inheritance in the Presence of God and for His Glory. The things of this world dim in comparison to knowing and pleasing God with your life. As a living sacrifice, the things of this world become inconsequential so when trials come we can be happy because our hope is in heaven tucked in our faith in God alone. It doesn’t matter if the whole world falls apart if his Kingdom remains. We transition our hopes and dreams from this life which is temporary into forever which is Eternity! Why would God give feeble people with fickle hearts such an incredible opportunity? It gives the Lord “great happiness” to give you the Kingdom!
Romans 12:11-15 (NLT)
Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.
Romans 12:21 (NLT) Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.
Romans 12 talks about becoming a living sacrifice to God which is our reasonable service. Translated by giving our life to the Lord, this is what should become of us if we truly commit our life to Jesus Christ. Romans 12:1-2 are the hype and the rest of the chapter is the fine print. These are the disclosures. The things to expect and are expected in this contract. There are words that do not appeal to everyone here such as work, serve, patience, trouble, ready to hope, eager to practice, bless others and persecute. Now wait just a second, I thought the Lord was going to bless me. Yes, He is! But His Blessing is the inheritance of his Kingdom, we live in hostile territory that does not care much for defectors. To be a “living sacrifice” means something must be given away completely. In the midst of oppression, God says to be happy with those who are happy. So God is saying that on days like today when life begins with a rush and everything seems to be slowly falling apart, I am to rejoice in the Lord and be happy about it? Well yes, because as far as I can tell He is still on the throne which means my blessing is secure and promises unbroken. Our happiness is not relevant to earthly conditions but the Lord’s reign. If I have confident hope that He is still God all-powerful, all-knowing and everywhere then my joy should remain full as well. The hopes of the godly result in happiness, but the expectations of the wicked come to nothing. (Proverbs 10:28) Where is your hope today? If it is in heaven, evil has no hold on your life. It is like rain though the water may touch you, it just rolls off over the covering of God on your life!
Matthew 5:11-12 (NLT)
“God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about youand say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.”
When your faith in the Lord stirs up hell, now you have accomplished something. God blesses those who are able to endure the oppression that comes with successful Christianity. Those who will follow the Lord no matter what the circumstances of their life may be blessing the Lord and others as they trod along will experience a great reward not only in heaven but earth. Job was blessed double for his trouble. It did not change the devastating circumstances he endured and even after the Lord’s Blessings arrived with more children, Job still grieved his precious children who had perished. Ask any parent with more than one child. You do not love more than another. Even God declares each lamb precious and worth leaving the flock to find! People will mock those who are faithful. They will persecute the righteous so get over it. Not to be harsh, but as Americans we lose touch with the reality of martyrs and those who die for their faith whining when someone makes fun of us. There is no reason not to be happy today for those whose hope is in the Lord! Luke 6:22-23 says that when people notice our faith and it causes a response even a negative one that we should “leap for joy!” The reward in Heaven for persevering faith must be awesome if it makes us happy in the midst of suffering and sorrow for the Kingdom’s sake! Double is coming for your trouble Child of God so hang on!
Proverbs 3:13-18 (NLT)
Joyful is the person who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding.For wisdom is more profitable than silver and her wages are better than gold.Wisdom is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.She offers you long life in her right hand and riches and honor in her left.She will guide you down delightful paths; all her ways are satisfying. Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her; happy are those who hold her tightly.
There are two secrets to happiness. The first is wisdom. The problem with God’s People today is a lack of knowledge which the Word of God deems deadly. The people perished for a lack of knowledge. (Hosea 4:6) Wisdom is applied knowledge. Understanding comes from (you guessed it) knowledge. There is no other way to gain understanding about God than spending time in His Word. His Voice and His Spirit will add to your knowledge and understanding of God creating an intimate relationship based on what you know about the Lord not what you think. When I don’t know a term that is used or as I try to discover more information about our son’s cancer and treatment, I resort to Google. (Nerdy, I know!) But Google cannot tell me about God, the Internet does not have all the answers. It is a Spirit and Truth combination that reveals the Character and Intentions of the Lord for me. It requires spending time in His Word and His Presence which increases my faith and allows wisdom to be my guide in life. If I continually feed my mind and soul the world, it will not know and understand God’s Responses in my life. Wisdom leads to “delightful paths”. When I hold tightly to the wisdom of God, I will be happy no matter what the circumstances of my life! Godly wisdom produces a happy life!
I Peter 3:9-11 (NLT)
Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it. For the Scriptures say, “If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies.Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it.
Hold your tongue. Zip it. Keep it from speaking evil and cursing the day. The power of life and death are in your mouth so learn to control it which goes back to wisdom. (Proverbs 18:21) If you want to enjoy life and have happy days then you have to stop grumbling and complaining such behavior reveals that your faith is a lie when both blessing and cursing comes out! (James 3:9-10)It outs unbelief. Doubt is disclosed when our mouth is mumbling and grumbling while we declare to be waiting on the Lord rather than rejoicing that He is coming! Such a pursuit in overcoming the power of your tongue will actually bring peace in your life as body, mind and soul come into alignment. The pursuit of knowledge and understanding is producing more and more faith that by holding our tongue we protect as it grows into wisdom! When we gain control over our words, it will build our faith and allow overflowing joy and happiness as the heart and tongue begin to agree that Jesus Christ is Lord over every situation! It will allow us to be partners with Jesus Christ for His Glory! (I Peter 4:13-14)
Psalm 86:4 (NLT) Give me happiness, O Lord, for I give myself to you.
True happiness is only found in giving our heart and life to Jesus Christ. Today is a happy day because even though the circumstances of my life threaten to overwhelm me – Jesus Christ has overcome them all. I believe it so I am happy! Be happy today! Give yourself to Jesus and He will do the rest!