Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Happiness vs. Joy




I recently read this phase on the internet:  The search for true happiness can be like chasing the wind or trying to hold water in your hand.  
These two tasks are nearly impossible.  Wind can’t be caught and the hand eventually will spill its liquid to the ground.  Happiness is often short lived and fast moving, and determined by our outward circumstances. 

If good things are happening then we're happy; financial security—happy, popularity—happy, healthy—happy.  As long as the road is level and smooth we are happy, but when we hit a bumpy road-look out-happiness can be fleeting.   
 
Joy is something God puts in our hearts, and it's not affected by our external environment.  You can have the joy of the Lord in the most difficult of circumstances.  Your happiness may be affect by loss of employment or a bad report from the doctor, but the kind of joy that Jesus prays over us in John 17:13 is that we would have His joy—internal and unaffected by the troubles of life.

 Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.  John 17:13 NIV

Here’s a promise to hold on to—you aren't always going to be happy, but a life truly rooted in Christ will always know joy—His joy

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Humblest

I have the joy of a lesser role in the upbringing of grandchildren than I did with my children.  The burden of shaping and molding these little personalities is a parental task.  Recently, I watched one of my precious little ones learn a lesson in humility.  He was being taught by his father.  

On Christmas morning he opened a gift with ten $1 dollar bills.  He screamed with glee.  Soon he was feeling much like a millionaire.  He couldn't stop asking personal money questions or fanning his money around for all to see.  He was fairly certain he had more money than anyone else in the world.  His father quietly instructed him that we don't fan our money around or ask people how much money they have.  We put it away.   It's not nice to do that and people don't like it.    

Everything in our human makeup causes us to strive to be the best of the best.  It can be a tightrope walk learning the right mix of being that person who understands how to be a humble winner.  

The best description of humility I have ever heard was in a sermon preached by my husband.  It went like this.  The winning horse in the race is called the most humble.  Why—because the winning horse has learned to surrendered to the person in control of the reigns

My grandson surrendered to the parental reigns of his father and put his money away.   I did not see that money come out again the rest of the day.  Nor did I have to field any more questions about my financial well-being.

This week how will you respond when the Lord gently leads you?  Will you resist and go your own way or will you be the humblest and yield.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.  1 Peter 5:6 (NIV)    

It’s a blessed event in the life of the believer when we learn to be sensitive and obedient to the leading of the Lord.


  



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