A Reason to Be Happy

Read Psalm 37:1-11.

“Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
Psalm 37:4

Does God want us to be happy? Some Christians appear to think that our purpose in life is to be angry and frustrated and sour in our attitude all the time. Christians wind up being the social equivalent of the grouchy old man yelling at the neighborhood kids to get off his lawn.

I do not believe that being a Christian will automatically make everyone feel happy. Christianity does not teach us to ignore grief or pain. It does not teach us to pretend that everything is all right even when circumstances are bad. Grief and sadness and righteous anger are necessary human emotions. Jesus does not tell us to ignore our genuine feelings.

But there is no virtue in living with our attitude bent toward frustration. The Bible is full of talk about delight and joy. No matter how frustrated we become with our own life circumstances or the failings of others, we carry the joy of the Spirit of God with us. We should be able to sing the words of that old hymn, “There’s sunshine in my soul today!” Sing it and mean it!

One of my favorite songs in my early Christian life was an old Bill Gaither song that says, “this happy face that I’m wearing, you know Jesus put it there to stay, because the world didn’t give it to me and the world can’t take it away.”

So go forth and find your delight in the Lord. No one can take Him away from you. So even when you grieve or have frustrations, “you do not grieve like the rest of humanity that has no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13). There is sunshine in your soul. Let it shine!

Love in Christ,
Greg Burriss, Pastor
Rocky River Baptist Church
Siler City, NC

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