Weekly Sabbath Survey
Happiness For Real — 2-18-2017
“Bloom Where You’re Planted.” Back 40 years ago, that was “code” for, “Now that you’ve been fired up in the Lord, stay in your same church and don’t mess up status quo, no matter how bad it is.” You can guess this was a desperate attempt to keep newly Spirit-led denominational people from jumping ship. Some stayed, others left. Some went back, others went forward. Each had to figure out what was best for them and their family, and what made them happy.
But, this upheaval gave birth to a new denomination: The Non-Denominational (Charismatic) Church. In the beginning our services were REAL church! The ‘new’ music was so beautiful and powerfully anointed, people got saved, healed and delivered during the worship! At times the anointing of Holy Spirit was thick as a cloud. God just did His thing as the people prayed for each other and needs were met. The preacher moved among the people ministering. There was no need for preaching on one of those days! But, eventually the leaders saw this free-for-all church caused some people to run out the door almost screaming. We learned that big challenges to Status Quo were counter productive to some people’s happiness. We needed to be more NORMAL. So, enter the ‘seeker friendly’ version of Charismatic Church. I know people who attended ‘charismatic’ churches for years and never knew it was full of tongue-talkers, including the pastor! This “church” no longer uses that term, and has become mostly the same old church we had before the Charismatic Renewal Church got plastic surgery! Even most of the music has little anointing now. But, there are a lot of BIG churches now, and the people are “happy.”
For some of us, happy means joyful. Life is good. For others it means attaining a certain goal. (Or holding on to Status Quo!) But when goals are reached, the happiness of that fades quickly. The Lord wants Believers to learn happiness is not something obtained from outside circumstances. It comes from the inside. True JOY is found in knowing the Lord, His Holy Spirit inside us, and the joy we get from the accomplishments of other people. This makes true happiness in our hearts. People who enjoy the achievements of others are as happy as if they had achieved it themselves. Counting our blessings is more than a song; it’s an exercise in thanksgiving. Tony made it through a bad cancer event. The grandchildren are healthy and growing up to be great kids. My two sons, daughter-in-law and step-daughter are a blessing! I have some good friends that I can trust. My life has been difficult at times, exciting at times, peaceful at times, but never boring! I am happy.
Joy also comes from small things around us. My patio plants I tend every day, my little dogs that I love. A good meal cooked for my family. A jar of pickled eggs I ‘put up’ myself. The smell of clean laundry as I fold it. Soaking in my hot tub. A mist that rises from my garden at sunup. My rooster crowing. The days I have energy, my mind feels bright, not much pain, and bodily systems seem to be working correctly. All this is contentment money cannot buy.
Do I have bad days? Who doesn’t ?? I lived in excellent health all my adult life until about 55. I began to have little things go wrong—little aches and pains that got bigger. And all the docs could offer was lots of bad drugs. I have kept that to a minimum by my own quest for relief in natural remedies. It has been an adventure but I’m still going. Not going too strong, but going. Outdoor activities in winter, that I like to do, are hard for me. It pains me to relinquish control. I want to do everything myself. Asking for help is a frustrating, humbling process. (God is working to make me ready for my last ‘trip’.) I try to be happy that there are those around me who are willing to help me! And I pray for Spring when my body will feel happier again, too!
We must do our best to be happy right where you are. On my worst days, I don’t like to complain to God or beg Him to help me (or just take me!). I want to tell Him I am glad that if I died right now, I KNOW I will be with Him. (“To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” (2 Cor. 5:8) Life is a simple matter of choosing to be as happy as we possibly can. It’s our decision to be happy. It’s as plain and easy as “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” Or, more Biblical, “Rejoice that your name is written in The Book of Life.”
The Lord takes care of me so I don’t want for anything. He gives me rest and makes the storms of life easier for me. He sets a table for me with all of life’s goodness and pleasure to choose from. He pours His Spirit over me. My happiness is running over the top! Psalm 23 (paraphrased).
Charlene Reams Manning, Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah
Forward any WSS you feel has merit. (without changes, please) August 2015
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