The Problem with Happiness

Happiness is a fleeting emotion, easily interrupted by negative thoughts, words and actions. Humans can experience the switch between the heights of euphoria and the depths of depression in a matter of seconds.

When we seek happiness in circumstance, people, events, pets, career, home, gardens, hobbies, church, etc. we are continually elated and then disappointed.

In disappointment, we even give in to fear, anxiety and feel apprehensive when we consider more than the one moment of time which we are experiencing.

Fear will dispel happiness quicker and put us into a deeper depression than any other emotion, especially if we suppress the anger, which we feel along with it.

We have the right to pursue happiness, but we cannot maintain it. There is good news in the midst of this negative prognosis, however.

We can continually dwell in an emotion much deeper than happiness. This emotion is not contingent on circumstance and is spiritual and depends solely on the presence of God in our life.

This deep seated emotion is also our strength to traverse the negative path in life, which we occasionally experience. There is no earthly issue, which can ever shake us from this positive outlook on life. It is called JOY.

If we choose to focus on the negative circumstances, or if we adopt a negative attitude, our joy will hover just outside of our soul, waiting in our spirit for us to change our focus to the joy, which is always set before us (Hebrews 12:2).

The world-wide Body of Christ, both in times present and past, is an example of a people who love and joyfully trust our amazing God for His constant provision, even during dire circumstances.

Prayer:
Father God, You reach down Your arms and hold us until our grief and fears are gone (Psalm 68:5). You walk within us and guide us through the depths of grief, distress and insecurity. Regardless of the negative circumstances, Your peace and joy are our constant companions.

You love each of us the same amount and in the same way, regardless of our sinful past. We are confident of Your continual, unconditional love for us (John 3:16-17). We can never thank You enough for continually filling us with Your presence and Spirit, and for helping us to maintain a heavenly mindset rather than a carnal, earthly one.

Thought for the Day:
Our constant joy depends on our focus on the eternal Christ and our attitude of total dependence on His perfect will for our life.

Lift Up Your Head

Rahab hid the Israelite spies who came to scope out the land for the Israelite invasion. She was rewarded with salvation during the destruction of Jericho.

The amazing part of this story to me is that she lived in the outside wall, and God sent her deliverance before the wall fell straight down on the seventh day.

God kept her safe even through this time of destruction, as well as redeemed her from her former profession. She married Salmon; and her son, Boaz, married another gentile convert, Ruth.

Rahab is the great-grandmother of King David and is in the ancestry lineage of Jesus Christ. God truly lifted up her head and turned her ashes into a thing of beauty (Psalm 3:3-4).

Our Father God does this same thing for anyone willing to surrender their will to His will (Luke 22:42). He exalts our head above our enemies (Psalm 27:5-6).

When our soul is depressed and unsettled within us, we hope in God and praise His name, and He puts a smile on our lips and joy in our heart (Psalm 42:11).

He sets our feet to dancing (Psalm 30:11) and gives us something to shout about (Psalm 98:4). He changes our focus from the temporal to the eternal and gives us a future full of hope and blessings (Jeremiah 29:11).

Eventually, we leave this carnal earth behind and enter into the glories of Heaven, living in the presence of God for eternity and inheriting His Kingdom with Jesus (Revelation 21:23; Psalm 16:11; Romans 8:17).

Prayer:
Father God, we praise You all the days of our life and still do not have enough time to thank You for all You have done for us. We look forward to eternity and having endless eons to worship You in all of Your beauty and holiness. We give you praise, honor and glory.

Thank You for Your love for us, for holding us in the palm of Your hand and for lifting up our head when we face the trials we encounter on this earth. You fill our hearts with joy and peace; not the tentative harmony that the world offers, but Your lasting and eternal peace that surpasses our human comprehension (John 14:27).

Thought for the Day:
God leads us by His Spirit each moment of the day and fills our life full of divine appointments which make a difference in our life and in the lives He brings across our path.

My Soul Waits – Filled with God’s Fullness

God chose us before the foundation of the world to redeem us, to transform us, to give us His divine nature and to use us in the work of His Kingdom (Ephesians 2:10; 2 Peter 1:4).

We no longer deflect His will with hurried lives and busy days. We grow spiritually and come to the place where we surrender our desires and embrace His heart and mind as our own.

We have a continual conversation with God as we share our heart with Him and listen to His answers and directives for our day. God’s presence satisfies our longing and fills our hungry soul (Psalm 107:9).

God redefines our plans and leads us in His Truth and everlasting way. He gives us a new name and nature with a heart of compassion and a willingness to do His will (Psalm 43:3; Revelation 2:12; Colossians 3:12).

Our focus switches from our self and our little place in the cosmos and increases to the world around us and the needs of the people involved in our everyday life.

We relinquish our hurt, bitterness, anger, and pride and walk in forgiveness, love and humility instead. This diminishes Satan’s hold on our life and increases our fellowship with our Father.

We empty our soul of the cares of this life, having faith in God’s faithfulness to work out every detail for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28). He fills us with His fullness and we change the world around us – one person at a time (Ephesians 3:16-19).

Prayer:
Father God, spiritual understanding is ours as we allow Your Spirit to discipline our carnal nature and strengthen our spiritual nature as You fill us with Your faith, hope and love (1 Corinthians 13:13). Help us to totally surrender to Your love and to trust You in the good times and the bad.

We know that only You hold the issues of life and death in Your hands (Psalm 41:13). We so enjoy the immeasurable intimacy which You share with those who love You and who keep Your commandments (John 14:15; Ephesians 3:8). We enjoy our fellowship with You and appreciate the showers of Your blessings on our daily life.

Thought for the Day:
Let us walk worthy of the Lord, pleasing Him in our thoughts, words and deeds, so that we can bear fruit by His Spirit through every good work which we perform; and may we continually increase in our knowledge, understanding and intimacy with God. – Colossians 1:9-10

My Soul Waits – A Frank Conversation

Negative, shaming self-talk comes from Satan in order to discourage us from allowing God to use us to His full potential within us. It diminishes our ability to receive the flow of God’s love to us.

We feel like crawling into a closet or curling into a tiny ball and hiding from the world. We cannot even look at our self in the mirror.

Our judgmental, critical, shaming and censoring thoughts about our self and others cripples us and deflects the immensity of the Truth of God’s unconditional love and acceptance for us.

We do not sense God’s faith, hope and love within us in the person of Jesus Christ. We are unable to detect His will through our hurried lives and busy days.

We have to get off the merry-go-round of life and have a frank conversation with God. As we share our heart with Him, we empty our soul of the cares of this life and our deep seated insecurities.

Meditating on God’s Word throughout the day helps us to focus on Him and His will for our life. This trains our soul to think on heavenly things rather than being carnally minded.

In the silent times of waiting on God, we enjoy His companionable silence as He showers us with His love, fills us with His peace and gives us His joy as our strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

He gets us ready for the next trial or temptation or crisis which we will face by strengthening us from the inside out. He showers us with His blessings and love to re-enforce our spirit and prepare us for the battle ahead.

Prayer:
Father God, You have a distinct purpose for each person You created. You sent Your Son to redeem us and Your Spirit to direct us throughout our lifetime. Make us aware of Your presence during the quiet times we maintain throughout our day.

Remind us to listen to Your voice, rather than the satanic voices in our mind. Draw us closer to You. We thank You for never letting us go (Hebrews 13:5). Work in us the divine nature of Christ (2 Peter 1:4), and fulfill in us and through us all of your promises.

Thought for the Day:
God has a perfect, prearranged plan for our life; and as we walk in it, we find His presence along with fulfillment and holiness.
– John 17:17-18; Ephesians 2:10

My Soul Waits – Part 1

In our stressful lifestyle in this modern society, we are often too busy with too many responsibilities to find a place of solitude in our spirit.

We maintain the illusion that we are satisfied with our lifestyle, but our soul is dying within us, because we are spiritually bankrupt.

We care so much about this world that we starve our soul and spirit. The cacophony in our soul – our mind, choices and emotions – is deafening and dulls our spiritual connection to God’s Spirit.

The remedy for this is to develop a deeper connection with Christ through His Holy Spirit. We can quiet our soul and focus on Christ dwelling within us, even through the storms of life.

Throughout each moment of the day, our soul waits in silence for God alone (Psalm 62:1). Our focus changes from earthly goals and desires to spiritual ones.

God’s Spirit transforms our thoughts into the mind of Christ, fills our emotions with His fruit and directs our choices to walk in God’s will (Romans 8:29; Galatians 5:15-25; 1 Corinthians 2:14-16).

Christ is our all in all (Colossians 3:11). Nothing this world has to offer compares to the joy and peace, guidance and fulfillment that comes from living a life dedicated to the Lord.

Listening for God’s voice requires that we still our soul and enter our spirit, where God’s Spirit abides. We totally surrender our will, goals, fears, dreams and aspirations to the will of God.

Silently waiting on God throughout our day reduces our anxiety, silences the negative self-talk, teaches us patience and reshapes our mind into the mind of Christ.

He nourishes our body, soul and spirit as we meditate on His Word, trust Him for our daily bread and enter into union with His Spirit.

Prayer:
Father God, teach us how to empty our soul, still our mind and wait on Your Spirit’s direction each moment of our day. Silence the negative thoughts and emotions, which Satan uses to distract us from Your will for our life.

Fill our soul with Your peace and help us to restructure our priorities to put You first and foremost above our soul’s pursuits. Remind us that Your Kingdom is the only true reality in this life and everything else is simply wood, hay and stubble to be burned up in the end (1 Corinthians 3:12-13).

Thought for the Day:
Physical solitude is not necessary in order for us to wait on the Lord, because He is available any time or place.

The Secret of Living in Contentment

Jesus encouraged us to have joy in tribulation, because He already experienced every issue we will ever face. He lives within us, so He inspires us to change our focus about life (John 16:33; Hebrews 2:18, 4:15).

Paul and James experienced more trials in their lifetime than we ever will, and they gave us the same advice to rejoice in our tribulation (Romans 5:3, 12:12; James 1:2). In fact, Paul also told us to rejoice always (Philippians 4:4).

The secret of learning to be content is to realize that this earth is not our home (Philippians 4:12). With an eternal perspective, we realize who we are in Christ and we stop worrying about earthly pursuits and dreams.

An eternal perspective allows us to have joy in adverse circumstances (2 Corinthians 4:16-17), because issues on this earth have less significance to us than those pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

We trust in the Lord with our whole heart, holding nothing back, not trusting in our self or any fleshly advantage, submitting everything to God and embracing His will as our own (Proverbs 3:5-6).

If we wait patiently for the Lord, we shall not be moved, even in times of great stress or persecution. Christ is our solid rock on which we stand, our strong tower from the enemies, which come against us (Psalm 40:1-2, 61:3).

When someone offends or harasses one of God’s children, He takes it personally just as if the person was afflicting Him with our pain (Acts 9:5-6). He is our refuge and strength in any sign of trouble (Psalm 46:1).

We quietly rest in His care, knowing that He always delivers us through all of our afflictions (Psalm 23:4, 34:19). Even when He disciplines us for our sinful behavior, we can rejoice that He loves us as His children (Hebrews 12:3-6).

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for teaching us to have an eternal perspective on life. We want to learn to be content as Paul did and to walk in Your nurture and admonition (Ephesians 6:4). Keep us ever faithful to Your Kingdom’s work and remind us that if we fail to witness to the ones You put in our path, their blood is on our hands (Ezekiel 3:19-20).

Help us to see that all we actually need to be content is food and shelter (1 Timothy 6:8). Teach us that the pursuit of this world’s goods never satisfies; yet, when Godliness is accompanied by contentment, we reap many rewards (Ecclesiastes 5:10; 1 Timothy 6:6).

Thought for the Day:
When we are joyful and content, our attitude shows on our face; but when we focus on our tribulation, the weight of it will break our spirit. – Proverbs 15:13

Our Firm Foundation

Our spiritual maturity is validated by our ability to rest in God, even when negative emotions overwhelm us. God is never absent or distant.

He simply lets go of our hand occasionally, so that we can take some faltering steps on our own. God is always right there with us; in fact, He never, ever leaves or forsakes us (Hebrews 13:5).

When we experience anxiety, sleeplessness, stress, unforgiveness and trials, it does not mean God went somewhere.

We simply stopped dwelling in our spirit and focused instead on our soul – our mind, will and emotions. Considering the needs of our soul is vital to a fulfilled life; but we cannot dwell there.

The tyranny of life keeps us tied up in knots, running in two directions at one time and burning the candle from both ends at once. This is a recipe for destruction.

If we focus instead on the finished work of Christ on Calvary’s cross and His resurrection from the dead, we have a solid foundation on which to build our life.

Prayer:
Father God, You meet with us in our spirit and You are with us always, but You help us to grow up into a mature person who lives with faith in Your faithfulness. You occasionally let go of our hand to teach us to walk in Your Spirit.

If we build our life on the instability of this world, storms will demolish all of our best laid plans and foundation. If we wisely choose Christ as our foundation, our life will stand firm regardless of the most torrential circumstance (Matthew 7:24-27).

Thought for the Day:
This world is not our true home; we are simply doing God’s will for our life now, as we progress toward our eternal Home in glory.