Devotion for Wednesday, May 20
HOW TO HAVE JOY & HAPPINESS IN A FRIGHTENING WORLD
Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks,
and send some to those who have nothing prepared.
This day is holy to our Lord.
Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.
Let me ask you a very important question -
Are you happy? Be honest! Right now, at this very moment are you happy? If not, then can you think of when and why your happiness left? What caused the change? We would all probably say that the Coronavirus was to blame. We know that there will always be things in life that will attempt to steal our happiness and joy. Before going any further maybe we should agree on what happiness is and is not - from a biblical point of view.
First, joy and happiness are connected. People who are joyful are more likely to be happy people, cheerful and friendlier. They usually smile a lot and are great people to be around.
But do our circumstances control our joy and happiness? Think about this: Some believers live on the fringe of an intimate relationship with God; and so they live with the idea that joy and happiness will come 'someday' when their external conditions change. Some even believe that they won't ever be happy - at least not until they get to heaven. While other believers who are totally dedicated to Christ go through a trial - or even many trials -- and their joy and happiness are not affected at all.
We need to stop here and ask ourselves the question - which camp am I in? Do my circumstances dictate my level of joy and happiness? And if they do, what are my options for change? Can I become more like Paul and Silas - who rejoiced even though they were in terrible circumstances - or do I want to be more like those whose joy and happiness only come when things are going right?
When Jesus comes into our lives - we become satisfied with the simple things of life rather than searching after the things that the world offers - and which, often are here today and gone tomorrow. Since Christ is the ONLY REAL source of Joy and Happiness, he and he alone has the power to fill the empty place in our lives.
So, as believers and followers of Christ Jesus, we have so much to celebrate! As blood-washed Christians, God's desire is that we walk in true happiness. Happiness is not luck, or good fortune, or winning the lottery, or having the Coronavirus go away, but happiness is a life of being in the presence of Christ, where we can live joyfully because we are adopted children of God!
We read in
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly
. So, don't let anything - not even the Coronavirus steal your Joy! Amen.