"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead..." Romans 1:20

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

True Happiness

🎶River Flows In You🎶

"Joy is the happiness that doesn't depend on what happens."  
--Br. David Steindl-Rast

The Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. is just a few weeks away.  Families and friends travel from near and far to gather around the Thanksgiving table to show their gratitude for everything and everyone they have in their life.  

I wish, however, that we had a holiday that emphasized the celebration of Joy.  Brother Steindl-Rast's words in the above quote point out that joy is a different kind of happiness because it does not depend on what happens in our life.  It doesn't depend on circumstances like the celebration of Thanksgiving depends on having something to be grateful for.  I can think of many people in our world that have nothing and no one right now.  They cannot even be grateful to be alive because they are in physical, emotional, and mental pain.  They have no reason to be happy.  

But we don't have to be refugees starving to death to feel our circumstances prevent us from being happy.  Many people feel overwhelmed by what's wrong in their lives to the extent that they can't see what's right about it.  This is where JOY makes all the difference:  Jesus Others You

True happiness--the kind not dependent on what happens--can only be found in True Joy.  True Joy is know that you are loved and cared for by Someone Greater than ourselves or any person.  And the only way to know this True Joy is to know the Lamb of God--Jesus.  

The Gospel message is too often overlooked today.  We go straight to God's love for us.  But unless we are repentant for all the ways we fall short in turning our lives over to God and acknowledge that Jesus makes the way back to God for us, we will constantly trip over the guilt we carry.  It's like a child who has been told he can't have cookies before dinner but sneaks a few anyway.  Then his mother changes her mind and says, "Here, you can have two cookies because you did not complain about not getting any cookies."  How can that child truly enjoy those cookies knowing he'd gone behind his mother's back?  He must confess his disobedience so he can be forgiven.  Then he can truly enjoy the cookies!

Our joy in coming to God through Jesus Christ can only be sustained, however, if we then go on to share God's love with others.  If we keep it just for ourselves we will eventually quench the Holy Spirit who was given to us when we came back to God.  God's Spirit in us leads us into Truth.  It is this Truth that continues to give us Joy.  Serving others is the outcome of His Spirit working in us.  

When it comes to "you" it's not a matter of being last in the equation, but rather that you are a necessary part of completing your JOY.  Without the Y there would be no JOY for you are God's beloved child.  He knows what's best for you and me, and that is to find true happiness in loving the Lord Jesus and loving others as yourself.

Father, You have told us, "To each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good" (1 Cor. 12:7).  You are my all in all and through You I am enabled to serve others even when it is difficult.  May I always be open to Your leading in the life you have given me.

Link to Scripture:  John 15:10-12

Take action:  Finding Joy

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