Happiness is God’s Will for Us

Young joyful woman in spring field

A couple of weeks ago I was wondering whether or not God wants His people to be Happy. I found that He certainly does. So much so, that Jesus devoted a whole sermon on just exactly how we can be happy! Another word for happy is blessed.  I think it’s safe to say that happiness is God’s will for us!

The question: how do we go about figuring out what Jesus meant when he said “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” How can I possibly be happy when I’m mourning something?

The Beatitudes are just that…they tell us how we should BE. The first of the beatitudes tells us that we are to be poor in spirit. This, simply put, means we must know we have a need for God in our lives.

The next beatitude says Blessed are those who mourn,  for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4   How can this possibly be?  Think of the beatitudes as a story. The first part of the story is that we realize our need for God. Immediately, God reaches down and takes us in.

All of a sudden, I look down and see my dirty, rotten, selfish, mean and hateful ‘self’ and realize ~ I’m not worthy of a place with God. I’ve got to do something. How very shameful I’ve been.

And it’s at this point that I grieve for my sins.  I mourn for what I have done to disgrace the God of my salvation.

I am sorry! But you know as well as I that being sorry doesn’t fix anything. It can’t repair the damage that my sin has caused. There’s no magic wand to wave, that will undo this mess I’ve made. How can I ever make this right?  The truth is that I can’t make it right. There’s not one thing I can do.

I can’t undo what I have done. Oh, how I wish I could, don’t you?  I’m truly, from my heart, remorseful. But I’m helpless to change my bad deeds. What’s done is done.

As I hang my head in shame, I lift my eyes to look around and see all the blessings God has in store for me and I know better than anyone, I don’t deserve any of it. I’m wretched and sinful and unclean.  It’s then, I realize what might have been,  if it weren’t for my sin. Covered in a lifetime of regrets and shame, I can only mourn my sin and the loss of all I see before me.

That’s when my Father steps in and with more compassion than I can comprehend, takes my dirty rotten garments from me and covers me with His robe of righteousness and says, “Come and sit at the table I have prepared for you.” “You belong to me.” “You have always belonged to me.”

That, dear reader, is comfort of the highest order. That’s security. There’s nothing more comforting than to know we belong to God. Comfort is knowing He is holding us in His hand and nothing satan can ever throw at us or bring into our lives can ever snatch us from His hands.  That’s true comfort! That’s eternal security. That’s being blessed. That’s true happiness.

Our society is mistaken to think happiness can be found in the things we possess, whether fame or fortune. As I mentioned before, Hollywood tells a totally different story. If what they say were true,  they would all be ecstatically happy. Instead theirs is a constant need for more and more fame, power, drugs, sex, money, marriages ~ all an attempt to find something in life that satisfies.

Remember in the very first beatitude we saw our need for God, for we were poor in spirit? At that very point, when we saw our need to have the Living God in our lives, we were welcomed into His family and received the Kingdom of Heaven. “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs in the kingdom of heaven.” It was already ours.

The Bible says that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. God did that for us before we ever saw our need for Him. He made the first move toward us.

As we stand and mourn our sin, God steps in and comforts us with this truth. He already made a way for us to be “righteous” and stand blameless in His presence. Now we can look around, not in shame,  but in absolute joy and happiness at all God has done for us.

Blessed….happy…are those who mourn, for they shall  be comforted. God’s happiness is not temporal like the happiness the world has to offer. Living in a big house, driving a fancy car, having lots of money are fine and dandy.   They may or may not make us happy.

The happiness God gives us is a deep down comfort that we know, that we know, that we know, our sins are forgiven and God loves us, no matter what. THAT is the true happiness that God wants for us. And we can have this happiness no matter our station in life…whether we have the big house, fancy car or money.

The happiness God offers us is true contentment, no matter what our circumstances.

So yes, it’s absolutely true.  Happiness is God’s will for us.  So tell me, doesn’t that make you happy??? It does me!

Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant parmesan1

I don’t now about you, but Eggplant Parmesan is one of my favorite dishes.  It satisfies something deep down in my being….makes me think I must have Italian ancestors somewhere back there….wouldn’t that be nice?  And, I wish I still had relatives there living a beautiful villa in a quaint little Italian Village…..that would work! I can claim this: My son proposed to his sweetheart in a city park overlooking the country side in Monterubbiano, Italy. I’m thinking that counts for ‘honorable mention’ at the very least…..;) And when I painted the backdrops for our Nutcracker production my husband nicknamed me Michalangela. There,  you see? I have many reasons to claim Italian heritage… [Read more...]

Savory Squash Fritters

savory squash fritters plate

I hate to throw good food out. Don’t you?  I remember my mother taking left over mashed potatoes and making potato cakes. She would add a little chopped onion, egg and flour to make it all hold together. It was always such a delicious treat. I’m sure her example influenced me to not throw out good food.  There’s always something to be made.  Did you know leftover squash makes the best little fritters?  A few days ago I stewed squash for supper.  Today I decided use the leftovers and make Savory Summer Squash Fritters for Sunday Dinner. [Read more...]

Chocolate Buttermilk Pound Cake

chocolate buttermilk pound cake3

For years I made Miss Marie’s Chocolate Pound Cake and loved it. I still do. In fact, even when I make this Chocolate Buttermilk Pound Cake, she is always on my mind. She passed away 12 years go and I miss her.

I remember, many years ago, going into my daughter’s room to have “The Talk’ with her. She was in the 5th grade. I decided it was about time….boy, I dreaded it. This is important. I mustard up as much courage as I could and climbed the stairs to her room. [Read more...]

The Day I Looked for God and Saw Him

the day I looked for God

Yesterday began with tons of uncertainly. I had to leave town for a visit that potentially could cause all sorts of hurt and hard feelings.  I dreaded making the trip, but had put it off as long as I could. I had to go.  And then I hate to leave town. My husband depends on me for support and he too, has several things going on that have caused him sleepless nights.   I knew he needed me here for encouragement and even though he knew I wouldn’t be gone long, it made for a long day for him. As I drove out of town I began to pray for the Lord to watch over things at home, to give him peace of mind for this day and grant me favor with my most unpleasant task. [Read more...]

How to Find Happiness

how to find happiness

This week, with all the talk swirling around Victoria Osteen’s comments on the idea that God wants us to be happy ~ for our benefit, not God’s… I decided to do a study on happiness, from a Biblical point of view, and see what God really says about it.  Do you know what I found? A whole chapter devoted to happiness!  It begins: Blessed is the man….also translated “Happy.” God obviously puts a great deal of emphasis on how to find happiness.  He didn’t want us to be mistaken about what happiness is. [Read more...]

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Stella's birthday 2014

It’s hard to believe it’s been 7 years since this little lady made her debut into our lives. I spent most of a day (or two) running errands for her mom so she could have her party this evening. [Read more...]

Chocolate Pecan Meringue Cookies

chocolate meringue cookies

Chocolate Pecan Meringue Cookies are a quick and easy way to used leftover egg whites. I made my Lemon Cheesecake -Strawberry Trifle last weekend and had 3 egg whites left. So, I made these delicious little morsels. [Read more...]

Grilled Sriracha Chicken

grilled sriracha chicken

The first time my husband grilled chicken for me I knew I was going to marry him. It was to perfection. I’d never had grilled chicken that wasn’t dried out and tough. It was tender and moist and the marinade was just perfect. We’ve been grill-less for several years and so this year I bought him one for his birthday. I didn’t realize how much I missed his grilling! It’s Labor Day weekend and I thought Id share with you this excellent Grilled Sriracha Chicken recipe. [Read more...]

How to Truly Forgive

FORGIVE ONE ANOTHER

Have you ever thought you had forgiven someone and found that the pain and hurt were still there, just as raw as ever?  What do we do now?  Once we forgive, shouldn’t it be behind us?  How on earth do we get over it???  Christians are  supposed to forgive. It’s what we do. It’s what makes us different from the world. The world wants to get even.  But not us.  In fact, the Bible tells us if we ever expect God to forgive us,  we must first forgive those how have sinned against us. [Read more...]