Well, its the 22nd. We are on the 10th day of Christmas today: 10 lords of leaping!
...representing the 10 commandments.
Yesterday (ok, now two days ago) I prosed the question of what true happiness is all about. Charlie Brown helped us uncover the true meaning of Christmas.
But what about true happiness??
Before exploring this from a biblical standpoint, I would have defined happiness as a feeling, as getting something you've really wanted, a completed to-do list or a result of an enjoyable activity.
However, this morning I found some verses that helped me uncover this question better.
One verse states: "13 Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding,
14 for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold."-- Proverbs 3:13-14
So happiness here is wisdom and understanding knowing God's word.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:3-12 what happiness is. Happiness here is what Jesus says makes someone blessed (I used the Message just for a clearer reading)---
3"You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
4"You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
5"You're blessed when you're content with just who you are—no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought.
6"You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God. He's food and drink in the best meal you'll ever eat.
7"You're blessed when you care. At the moment of being 'care-full,' you find yourselves cared for.
8"You're blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
9"You're blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That's when you discover who you really are, and your place in God's family.
10"You're blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God's kingdom.
11-12"Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don't like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble."
And actually, if happiness is to be blessed, then we can find happiness in the commandments of God. Yes, it doesn't really make sense to us who think commandments and laws are something that keeps us from happiness...
But God's word says: "21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God;
22 and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.
23 And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.
24 Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us." 1 John 3:21-24
"If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you."-- John 15:7
Therefore, as His children, let's remember where our true happiness flows from today.
"Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God. "
'With songs of joy I speak of Thee, for I know not how to cease',
-- Jeremiah 20:9--