Monday, April 2, 2012

Are You Well Inside.. Are Ya Happy Inside?

How are you doing? I hope real good. I feel happy inside ..even though my circumstances ain't always so perfect.. and I'm just startin' off my day here looking at three truths from Scripture about happiness:

1.) God is joyously, exuberantly, happy, because He delights in God the Son.
2.) God is happy because He doesn't change and is totally sovereign, not half sovereign or a third sovereign.
3.) God's personal happiness is actually a foundation for our Christian living because this will actually spill on over in mercy to us who believe.

The Father says, "Behold my servant whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights" (Isa. 42:1). God is gracious and happy because He delights in how His loving nature is accurately reflected in His beloved Son.

I believe that God is happy because He is one hundred percent sovereign. Look at what Psalm 115:3 states, "Our God is in the heavens; he does whatever he pleases." That actually implies is that our Father's sovereignty is ultimately His right and His power to do whatever He desires, yes, that makes Him happy. Our God is in heaven—He be over It all.. all, All, ALL THINGS and He is subject to none, no one, and nothing.

Therefore, God pulls off whatever He pleases. God always acts in harmony with the Son and the Holy Spirit to preserve His maximum happiness. Down here on earth happiness (which so many seem to be all-out after..) evades those who seek it directly instead of seeking to make God happy. But God is happy because His righteous holy acts, which are always done out of love for His kids and to His own glory, can never be frustrated beyond His will.

See what Isaiah (chapter 43 verse 13) says, "I am God, and also henceforth I am he; there is none who can deliver from my hand; I work and who can hinder it?"

And "My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose" (Isa. 46:10).

And what Daniel said, "He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay His hand or say to Him, 'What doest thou?'" (4:35).

We may be sure, therefore, that God is not selfish, but is indeed happy because He alone infinitely has absolute right and power as the Creator of it all to overcome every obstacle to His joy.

But, Kurt, how can a good God actually be happy when the sin-cursed world is so filled with human suffering and evil today?

Well, think of these two things. God is ultimately in charge and will even use the devil and his minions for His own glory.

That's was hard to grasp when my little sister, Kathy, was murdered some years ago for doing nothing wrong. My comfort and spiritual consolation didn't arrive from thinking that the Father was so weak that He couldn't divert the lost drug filled stalker-murderer from her home. It did come from knowing the Word of God personally and my assurance that He is completely sovereign. He took Kathy right after she got right with Him in prayer and in His own appointed time for her. One day I will clearly know how His will and timing has always been good.

What's God's personal attitude toward horrific, tragic events? He hurts and weeps with those who hurt and weep. And it depends on the focus of the lens so to speak.

God never delights in human pain or in the evil that people conspire against people. But if God's lens were hyper-narrow and focused merely on that injurious stuff alone, He could indeed be filled with grief-filled abhorrence alone. But when God opens His lens wider if you will.. to take in all the various connections to what happened and to all the effects of a certain event, even on into eternity future, then that certain event forms part of an intricate beautiful mosaic-ical-pattern which God would indeed delight in, and in which He wills at times. Yes, it's difficult for us ..but He allows some hurtful things to happen to Christians at times, so He will be glorified and so more people will turn and come through Christ on into His Kingdom by faith plus nothing.

Think about how He allowed for the death of His Son. Christ dying on the cross was the work of God the Father for the benefit of many. The Father has never been mean or cruel, but "We esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.. It was the will of the Lord to bruise Him and He has put him to grief" (Isa. 53:4, 10).

God the Father knew of the tremendous agony of his beloved Son Jesus. He knew of the terrible wickedness that happened all the way to the cross and the Father never delighted in those vicious things. Please know that God hates sin and the suffering of the innocent in itself. This is very abhorrent to the Father. 

Of course we need to hate sin like He hates it. But according to Hebrews 2:10 the Father thought it was fitting to perfect the Person of our salvation through suffering so He allowed it. God actually willed what He Himself abhorred "in the narrow view" because "in the broad view which includes eternity" it was an appropriate and totally fitting way to demonstrate His own righteousness (see what Paul said in Romans 3:25).

He wanted to bring His people to glory (Heb. 2:10). God is omniscient. He still surveys the scans the history of His redemptive plan from the start to the finish and He is happy with what He sees. In faith, we can choose to rejoice and be happy in Him as well.

The Lord's personal happiness spills on over in mercy to us who believe. If our Father was antsy-frustrated, rad-bummed out, and whining, and pouty, and gloomy-depressed with inverted dejection or discontentment, or even grumbling inside.. then how would that be? Would you at that time feel like joining David the Psalmist in voicing, "O God, thou art my God, I seek thee, my soul thirsts for thee; my flesh faints for thee, as in a dry and weary land where no water is" (Ps. 63:1)?

How could children today ever enjoy time with their earthy fathers at home if their dads were so bummed out like that? They couldn't. Not gunna happen.

But I'm happy that God is infinitely happy. I have joy because He is joyous. Jesus had joy and He hasn't changed either. This is basic in Christian living—yes, to find yourself joyously, head over heels in love with God… to be happy in God, to delight yourself in the Lord with no idols added into the mix.. to fully cherish, respect, and enjoy intimate fellowship with God through Christ… to worship God alone for He is merciful.

In order for any sinner like me to pursue joy in God, the sinner has got to be confident inside that the Lord will not shine him on.. hold him away.. will not reject him.. will not shut him or her out when he or she repents and asks for forgiveness and true fellowship to be established.

God ain't mad at us because of the cross and He will indeed treat each of us with mercy when we honestly repent from our sin and seek Him through Jesus. He is the One who said in Jeremiah 9:24, "'I am the Lord who performs mercy and justice and righteousness in the earth, because in these things I delight' says the Lord."

Please don't strive in seeking out to find happiness for yourself. Please don't pin finding it on yourself or on your family or on your bank account or on your cool career or on some sport or hobby. No, shift it over on to a relationship with God for, "The Lord takes pleasure in those who hope in His steadfast love."

Are you in a well church with a spiritual pastor who likes to worship the Lord, teach the Word and win souls? Sometimes churches like this are hard to find, but keep looking even if you need to relocate. I know that circumstances aren't always so "well" or ideal down here, and that some people receive their healing on the day when they go home to heaven ..when others "catch healing" from the Lord earlier. I don't understand all that, but I do say travel well my friend Jesus Christ. Walk well, travel well wherever He leads you. Yes, be happy and choose to be well on multiple levels …on as many as possible. You know how the early Church was W.E.L.L. Many churches are sadly sick and inverted today, but the early church was W.E.L.L. because it had growing well believers who cared about others.
I'm using an acrostic here. 

They Worshipped God. They tactfully Evangelized sinners. They diligently and prayerfullly Learned the Scriptures and applied them properly. They Loved each other, fellowshipping with each others in the Spirit. You know living well in Christ sure beats traveling ill, angry, ungrateful, or unhappy in your spirit ..when you don't really have to be that way. I say choose for..

"Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling." ~ Margaret Lee Runbeck

Yup, it has more to do with being made right inside and with the way you live, rather than a location on earth that you end up at due to lots of sweat and goal-setting (and I'm for some sweat and wise goal-setting).

"Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding." Proverbs 3:13

"People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be." ~ Abraham Lincoln

If you are not a believer with right priorities, then choose to become one like Abe was. He was well / healthy spiritually. Please know assuredly today ..if I can use such an odd, old term.. that zero, null, zip, nothin' in the whole wide world can frustrate the ultimate happiness of a merciful God (the true Bible God—there's only One). 

It might sound kinda funny, but this God delights infinitely in His own glory. In His sovereignty He does and will continue to do whatever He pleases. Christian, He has your best interests at heart, so walk in His Love and in His Spirit today. If you opt to travel through this life unhappy, then why would anyone want what you have? We impart what we are. We can't export it, unless we first import it from the Lord. The Bible says, "Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart" (Ps. 37:4).
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