Wednesday, July 5, 2017

STAYING HAPPY


I want to speak an encouraging word into your life today. I desire to remind you, my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, that happiness is attainable even in the face of challenging life-moments of sadness and the like. But if we treat them right, that is just what those challenges are - moments; lessons to learn, feelings to feel and this too shall pass. "We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body." (2 Corinthians 4:8-10)

I watched a three-part movie series recently called "Death Comes to Pemberley" (attached to the "Pride and Prejudice" story). In the final installment, the female lead, Anna Martin playing Elizabeth Darcy was speaking with her beloved about perspective and said, "Let's look to the past only as it gives us pleasure. And to the future only as it gives us hope."

The Hebrew people did this eons before Elizabeth Darcy arrived on the scene. As God's people would travel from place to place experiencing the many facets of God's favor - protection, food, direction, a life-manual (The Law) and so on - altars of stone would be built to commemorate or commit to memory what The Lord had done for them there. In addition, they would not only build the altar, they would name the altar, like The Lord is My Shelter (protection).

The should'ves, could'ves and would'ves of life are enemies who target our joy and progress. Unfortunately, our society focuses on what they do not have and has an I deserve attitude. However, with the help of The Holy Spirit, we have the means to stay happy. Mr. Rick Renner stated in his Sparkling Gems From the Greek 2, "Thankfulness is a prerequisite to happiness because only a thankful heart can be a happy heart." (p.467) Acquiring and keeping a grateful and thankful attitude not only reminds us of past and recent blessings, but of God's promises - His projected blessings yet to come. A focused perspective is the key. Keep your focus on God's Faithfulness (God's Track Record) and your attitude and future will immediately brighten beyond belief.

"If society focused its gaze on God and kept Him in their minds, it would be more difficult for Satan's deception to work its plan in the world. But when man becomes unthankful - ceasing to acknowledge God and to be thankful for His abundant blessings - that is when he begins to sink into decadence." (Renner, page 468)

"You see, a Christian may not slide into the same sins to which the world quickly succumbs, but ungratefulness, bitterness and other heart-hardening attitudes will worm their way into your soul if you do not maintain an attitude of thankfulness and constantly recognize God's goodness in your life." (Renner, page 469)

Learn from King David, as he said, "Bless the Lord, O my soul and forget not all His benefits." (Psalm 103:2) In this command to his own soul, David had the right mindset, the right attitude and proper execution to Staying Happy.