Wednesday, July 5, 2017
The Ghost of Happiness
“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.
The other day I was speaking with a parent who looked at me and stated that every parent just wants their children to be happy. As soon as those words were spoken something in my spirit took note of disagreement. Yesterday while walking I remembered those words and gave them further consideration. I probably would have said that same statement for the biggest part of my parenting years. But as my wrinkles deepen and my steps get slower, life has shown me that happiness is a fickle companion. It is a fleeting partnership with no lasting relationship and little depth. Happiness is nothing more than a temporary emotion based on a temporary fix. Happiness can be that next drink…that new drug…that new purchase…that desired relationship.
I have decided that the one thing I want for my children is godliness which produces joy instead of happiness, and gratitude instead of grumbling. I believe that our passage this morning gives us insight on how to attain godliness. Every one of us has a story of how God has blessed us in the past. Being joyful is imperative in keeping our prayer life active, remembering that He will continue to act in the future as faithful as He has in the past. A commentary states ‘to rejoice always is to see the hand of God in whatever is happening and to remain certain of God’s future salvation.’ When we rejoice in His past deliverances, we have a more grateful heart. ‘Joy is a fruit of the Spirit and is not dependent upon certain conditions. It is rooted in the unperishable, unchanging, and unconditional. As long as we have the Spirit, we can have eyes to see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living…Rejoicing and faith go hand in hand. If we are to rejoice always, it is imperative to believe that there is more than what we can see, taste, smell, hear and feel.’ Steadfast Love, Lauren Chandler, p. 167.
So on this beautiful day that the Lord has made I wish you godliness instead of happiness, and fruitfulness instead of idleness.