Happiness Part 1

The “feel good” doctrine is taking a foothold in our society. There are a great many people who feel like they will get whatever they want just by praying for it. They take “ask and it shall be given” completely out of context.(isolating scriptural “text” is a “con” [context]) If you believe you can get everything you want just by asking God in prayer you are going to be terribly disappointed. This is false doctrine and those teaching it are false prophets! If you got everything you asked for and were happy every day of your life, you would be useless to God, because your focus would be on your earthly life instead of on Him. God has a plan and purpose for your life and the only supplication He will grant are those which fall into that plan and purpose – and then only in His timing, which is perfect for you, whether you think so or not.

You say “but God wants me to be happy, right?” I challenge any person who reads this to show me where in God’s Word it states He wants us to be happy. On the contrary.  The Old Testament is stuffed full of stories of people living through difficult circumstances.  The New Testament is LOADED with scripture speaking of our trials. Perhaps of highest importance are James 1:2-4 and Philippians 4:12-13. The secret, as Paul said, is to be content in our circumstances, good AND bad. For those suffering bad circumstances, we are to serve them as best we can. (James 2:14-26) If you are under trials and you have God living inside you, He will always provide a way out of a possible sinful situation – but you need to be willing to take up that option.

God will constantly keep us under trials so that our faith can be strengthened and our Christian resolve can grow. Don’t expect to be happy in this life. Don’t even expect to be happy in marriage. (1 Corinthians 7:27-40) Store up heavenly treasures and not those of this life. Embrace the trials of life and use godly wisdom to pass them, for passing builds faith but failing also has it’s own righteousness, through God, as it creates wisdom. So be not sorriful for your failures, for if we fail in the name of Jesus, righteousness will be your favor. (James 1:4-7)

God’s Acceptance

If after you have confessed and repented of your sin, you’re ever wondering if the Lord has truly accepted your confession and forgiven your sin, here are a few verses of scripture to reassure you and to know that Jesus is the one and only way to come by heaven’s gate.  It’s also good to know that even Jesus quotes scripture, so we can be confident that the Word is from God.

 

1 PETER 2:1-8
Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.  As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For in Scripture it says:
“See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him
will never be put to shame.”
Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,
“The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone,”
and,
“A stone that causes people to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall.”
They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.

HEBREWS 4:12
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

JOHN 6:25
Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.

JOHN 6:37-38
Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, `From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.

Faith and Trusting God

What exactly is faith? Faith is defined as the act of believing in that which we cannot see. If that is true then we can say, with confidence, that trusting God involves training ourselves to see beyond what we can only see and to see and understand that which we believe; but what about the things in which we don’t believe or things we have never considered? 2Kings 6:17 tells us about how Elisha prayed that his servant could see beyond his own understanding to envision what Elisha, the servant of God, prophetically envisioned.  Life principle number nine, from InTouch Ministries states: “Trusting God means looking beyond what we can see to what God sees”. OK, but if we can all see the future, like God, why would sin even exist? Wouldn’t we already know the right way to respond to life circumstances? Not necessarily, and why? Well, we don’t teach ourselves to understand how God thinks, so most of the time we can’t see what He sees. Reading the Old Testament stories can give us examples as to how God works in our lives, how He responds to disobedience and how He rewards us for living within His plan and purpose for our lives. But we can also augment that with listening to stories of our elders – parents and grandparents, pastors, teachers, even the old guy down at the mini mart.

I can remember a weekend, the last weekend my grandfather lived. It was a bit cold in the very early spring in southern Pennsylvania. We packed up and drove to our little tiny vacation place because we needed to tend to a tree which had bent over from the weight of a recent snow and it was sticking out into the path of the highway traffic a bit and had to be cut. After a hard day of cutting, hauling and burning pine branches, we washed up in the tiny bathroom and had hoagies for supper. Then I remember my father and my grandfather sharing their memories together as I sat and listened. They talked and laughed for hours, recalling events from their pasts and sometimes the consequences resulting from what they had done. I probably learned more that evening, as this father and son drank Kentucky whisky and reflected on their lives, than I could have ever learned on my own.

Reading the old testament and the great stories of old, for me, is just like listening to the old stories of my father’s and grandfather’s past, and learning about how to react in circumstances that may or may never enter my life. And because of those lessons, now I can say for certain that if we can understand how God thinks, even just the tiniest bit, we can greatly improve the way we respond to those circumstances, whenever they may occur. I challenge you to try it for yourself. Pick up your Bible and read some of the wonderous stories of kings and slaves and both men and women of great courage and valor. Remember those stories and when those same types of circumstances pop up in your life, I just know that you’ll know better how to react.