Happy In The Lord

Happy in the Lord

I would like to ask each of us a question this morning:  How happy are you?  On a scale from 1 to 10 with 10 being the most happy, where would you fall at most times. Think about that for a moment as we discuss happiness further.

I don’t know of any person on this earth who wouldn’t want to experience true happiness. Some seem to think they can find happiness in the things of this world. Solomon certainly thought that he could for awhile. He had everything a worldly person would want. He had plenty of wine, women, money, he had all kinds of wisdom, and he had fame and power but as Solomon reflected upon all of these things he realized there wasn’t any true happiness in these material worldly things. In fact he got bored with what he had that is why he said,

Ecclesiastes 1:9 What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

Solomon came to the realization of what really matters in life and what can bring about true happiness as we read in,

Ecclesiastes 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man's all.  14 For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, Whether good or evil.

True happiness can only be found in the Lord and of course we learn about how to be happy by looking to God’s Word. Solomon also points this out in a couple of his proverbs as well.

Proverbs 29:18  Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law.

Proverbs 16:20 He who heeds the word wisely will find good, And whoever trusts in the LORD, happy is he.

When a person gets to point in their life where they can trust in the Lord, it is at that point they can know without a doubt that if they keep his commandments they can have the confidence that they will have something to look forward to beyond this meager existence and this should bring about true happiness in a person’s life.

Let’s now take a look at several reason of why every Christian should be able to find happiness in the Lord. 

First of all we should be happy in the fact that we know there is a God and that Jesus is our savior. Could you imagine going through life not knowing about Jesus? That is the first thing I think of when I am talking to employee who feels his or her life is hopeless. Think about how sad life would be thinking that all you have is this short time we have on this earth. We should also be happy that we live in a free country to where it was possible for us to have easy access to the knowledge of Christ. Think about how sad it is for those who in the world who are cut off from the word of God who desperately need to hear the saving message of the gospel call. We should have a great joy in our life knowing we have God that loves and cares for us and is always there for us.

Hebrews 13:5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

Now think about how happy this should make us as Christians knowing that God loves us so much that he will never forsake us. This is why so many Christians are happy and blessed because they know the Lord and they trust him with all of their heart, mind and soul. We also learn that God doesn’t miss any of the details in our lives as David expresses in the 139th Psalm, verses 1 – 14.

So not only should we be happy in the Lord because we know him, but we should be happy that he knows us so well and that he willing to care for each and everyone of us as Luke 12:7 say the very hairs on our heads are numbered. 

In 2nd Timothy Chapter 1 verses 8 - 12, Paul conveyed his confidence in the Lord and his providential care.

Paul didn’t worry about his situation. Instead, he learned from Lord to be content where he was and no matter how much suffering or obstacles came his way. As the passage tells us, he could rejoice and find happiness in the Lord because he knew the Lord and trusted in his promises and in this same way we too can find happiness in the Lord. 

The second way we can find happiness in the Lord is in the fact that we can pray to God and have the confidence that he will do what is best for our problems. Again, I ask you to imagine not having access to God through prayer. It would certainly be very sad to me to know that all I could do is learn about God but yet never talk to him.

It would also cast a great shadow of doubt on the love God if he wasn’t willing to listen to me. But fortunately for us, we all Christian have access to God through prayer thanks to Jesus.

We see this in Hebrews Chapter 4, verses 14 - 16 

It so wonderful to be able to speak to God through prayer and turn all our problems and worries over to him knowing that he will make things work out for the best. As Paul says in,

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

We see from the scriptures that God always has our best interest at heart and it should make us very happy to know that he is in charge and that he will do things according to his will. It should also make us happy that we have this kind of relationship with our God.

Paul reminds us in Philippians 4 vs 6 & 7 that it important that we don’t neglect prayer in our life.

Philippians 4:6 says: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

If you find that you don’t have happiness in your life perhaps you prayer life is not what is should be.

Every time I read this passage I can’t help but think about my grandmother.  I know that I have mentioned many times in previous lessons.  She lived a very challenging life including being widowed at a young age with several children.  Many of her children had serious problems during their life.  What I will never forget is the faith that my grandmother showed at all times.  I truly saw the peace of God that transcends all understanding in her life.  I don’t know how she would have made it through all of the heartaches and trials she faced in her life without her complete reliance on God. One of the goals I have always had, and still have in my Christian walk is to mirror the example she provided as I face the challenges of life that we all experience.

Now the third thing that should make us happy is studying the word of God. There are many today who hardly ever open their Bibles unless they are at church and if this describes you, you are missing out on another great source of happiness.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 5 vs 6:

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.

This word Blessed can also be defined as happiness. There is a great joy in trying to learn as much as you can about God and living the righteous life and the way that you can do this is by studying your Bibles because it contains every thing we need to know to be pleasing to God.

2 Timothy 3: verses 16 & 17 tells us that:  All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

And 2 Peter 1:3 says: His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

I can promise you one thing, you can never exhaust the Bible because there is always something new to learn and not only is there great happiness in learning more about God, the more we read and study those verses that talk about how much God loves us and how much he is involved in our lives the easier it will be for us to find ways to rejoice in the Lord no matter what our situation may be. Not only can studying God’s word make us happy it also necessity. Please note following scriptures.

 2 Timothy 2:15 says: Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

There is great need to know the word because without knowing the word how can we know how to be pleasing to God or how to tell others about him. 

We see this in 1st Peter  Chapter 3 verses 15 & 16 which says: But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.

How can we defend our beliefs if we don’t know what Bible says.

1st John Chapter 3 verses 22 – 24

How can it be possible to know how to keep the commandments of God if we never study them? How can we have confidence that our prayers are being answered if we don’t every study our Bibles? How can we know that we are worshiping God in spirit and in truth if we do not study our Bibles? We cannot. If more and more people continue to neglect the word of God the church as we know will no longer exist and true happiness will be gone. I am reminded of the words of Hosea,

Hosea 4:6  My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge,…

We have many examples of those that we should follow after when it comes to knowing God’s Word. For instance note what Job says in,

Job 23:12 I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.

Job considered the word of God more important than his necessary food. However, many of us today have this backwards because we place great importance on feeding our physical bodies each day but we starve ourselves to death spiritually by not feeding our spirits with God’s Word. I like what Jeremiah says in,

Jeremiah 15:16 Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts.

He understood that the word of God brought joy into his life and if we would only make the time to allow God’s word to be poured into our heart on a daily basis we too could express the feeling that Jeremiah had.

Finally I want to share with you what David had to say about this topic in the 1st Psalm.

Psalm 1

So, please don’t neglect the word of God and you will be thankful that you didn’t because it will bring great happiness into your life.

The fourth thing that can bring us happiness in the Lord is by serving him and knowing that we are bringing him glory by what we do. We can certainly see this from the first century Apostle as they were arrested for a second time for preaching in the name of Jesus. Now the opposing Jews would have loved to have killed them but a Pharisee gave them the advice to leave them alone at this time and we pick up on this story in Acts Ch 5 vs 40 through 42.

 It brought them great joy knowing that they were doing the will of God even though they were beaten for it. Don’t you think that we should have a great joy in doing things that God has asked us to do? Your answer should be yes, however some Christians don’t look at serving God as happy time instead they look at as being a grudging responsibility and so many simply avoid serving God.

If this is your attitude about serving God you are looking at the wrong way because when you start thinking about everything God has done for us and everything that he has promised us it should make you desire to want to things for the Lord. Although we can never earn our salvation we can certainly do our best to bring glory and honor to the Lord.

It doesn’t matter how you are treated when you serve God because no matter what the result you will be blessed in what you do, just as Jesus said in,

Matthew 5:verses 10-12 which says: Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

So as you can see there are many reasons of why we should be able to find happiness in serving the Lord.

Our final reason this morning of why we can find true happiness in the Lord is in that we have the forgiveness of our sins and the promises that go along with this.

Romans 4:verses 7& 8 which says: Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him.

We all know that sin separates us from God and to have that sin removed and for it to no longer have power over us is certainly something worth being happy about. We can see this in action where Philip chases down the Ethiopian Eunuch and teaches him about Christ,

Acts Chapter 8 verses 35 – 39.   

Here we clearly see that once the Eunuch accepted the gospel call he was baptized and his sins were forgiven and he rejoiced about this. The next time you start feeling sad or you start feeling like everyone is out to get you remind yourself of how you obeyed the gospel call and you were baptized into Christ for the remission of your sins. Think about what that means because when you do it should be enough to make you happy instead of sad or defeated and of course the ultimate happiness will come to us when we remain faithful to God until the day we die as John says in,

Revelation 14:verses 13&14 which says: Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” Yes, says the spirit, they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.

When we die in the Lord we will have much to be happy about and those who love us will certainly miss us but they too will be happy for us because they will know that we will be with Christ. We can certainly see that Paul was happy with his salvation at the end of his life as we read in,

2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.

With that being said I hope that his lesson this morning has been encouraging to you and has helped reminded you of just how much true happiness there is in the Lord. From our lesson we learned there is happiness in:

·       Knowing the Lord and being known by the Lord.

·       Knowing that we can pray to God and that He will take care of us

·       Studying God Word which teaches us everything we need to know about God and happiness

·       Serving the Lord with whole heart, mind and soul

·       Having the forgiveness of sin and the hope of heaven

At the beginning of this lesson I talked about my grandchildren and thoughts around the happiness we feel when we feel safe and loved by our parents.  Just think as we close this morning that we, as Christians have the greatest parent there is.  Our Heavenly Father created and is in control of the entire universe.

He showed each of us how much he loves us by sending his only son to die for our sins so we may have eternal life.

The next time you are facing trials or just having a bad day, remember that true and lasting happiness is only found in the Lord.

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