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-Why Not Happy?

 
Picture Frame Why Not Happy?
Can you imagine a happy God? Perhaps you are more accustomed to hearing about a loving and a gracious God, or a righteous and a holy God, or a powerful and majestic God. But a happy God? The New Testament has basically two Greek words that are translated into the English word “blessed.” One has to do with “praise and good words” and the other with “happiness.” The expression translated “Blessed are...” that appears so often in the Beatitudes (Mt. 5) could also be rendered “Happy are ...” This “happy” word is also used by the apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 1:11 to describe God in the expression, “the glorious gospel of the blessed [happy] God.” Joy and happiness are no small themes in Scripture. We read that the Lord Jesus “for the joy set before Him endured the cross” (Heb. 12:2 NIV). We read that there is “rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents” (Lk. 15:7). The faithful servants were rewarded with a fantastic invitation: “Come and share your master’s happiness” (Mt. 25:21). Jesus prayed “that they may have the full measure of My joy within them” (Jn. 17:13). The apostle described the essence of God’s kingdom as “righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 14:17).

What role do joy and happiness play in our Christian life and ministry? Clearly happiness is not the only ingredient, but surely it should be a basic flavor in our Christian experience, both personal and collective.

The eunuch “went on his way rejoicing because he had become a Christian (Acts 8:39). Paul was happy because he evidenced repentance (2 Cor. 7:9). Titus was happy because he had a taste of genuine Christian fellowship (2 Cor. 7:13).

We read of others who found joy while living in the midst of difficulties. Habakkuk, in the depth of an economic crisis said, “Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior” (Hab. 3:18). David, when hiding from Saul in a cave said, “My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music” (Ps 57:7). Others “joyfully” accepted the confiscation of their property, because they knew that they had better and lasting possessions in heaven (Heb. 10:34).

Our happiness is enhanced by agreeable circumstances, but happiness essentially seems to be a choice. Our joy depends on the way we view reality. It involves trusting God even when we don’t understand His ways.

How will you live today? Choose to see God’s hand acting in and around you. Choose to enjoy your spouse, your children, your neighbors, your work, your church. “This is the day the LORD has made; let usrejoice and be glad in it” (Ps 118:24). Why not be happy?

By Philip Nunn

Why I’m So Happy

I’m so happy and here’s the reason why,

Jesus took my burdens all away.

Now I’m singing as the days go by,

Jesus took my burdens all away.

Once my heart was heavy with a load of sin,
Jesus took the load and gave me peace within.
Now I’m singing as the days go by,

Jesus took my burdens all away.
By Stanton W. Gavitt
 

With permission to publish by: Sam Hadley, Grace & Truth, 210 Chestnut St., Danville, IL., USA. Website: www.gtpress.org

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