Thursday, March 1, 2012

Thursday Thoughts

My sweet friend Shellie and I were talking about the joy we both found in our dark valleys because we traveled into those valleys knowing that our SAVIOR was with us every step of the way. It breaks my heart to hear people say “God wants us to be happy”, not because happiness is bad, but because I have to wonder what this simple phrase does to the woman who has just lost a child, a husband, a job, or any number of things. Does this phrase, simple as it is, cause her to doubt God’s love for her? Is this phrase also translated in the heart to mean “If God loves me, I will be happy” or “If I am really a Christian I will be happy” or “If I am in God’s Will, I will be happy”. Speaking for myself, having cancer the first time did not make me happy and having it the second time certainly did not make me happy, but THANKFULLY I rested safe and secure in the arms of the one who made me during those dark times. Was I happy? No. Do I want to do it again? No. BUT I learned things about my Lord and my relationship with Him that I could not have learned any other way and would not trade the experience for anything. THIS is what Shellie and I were discussing this morning....being thankful for the Valley....and Shellie said “You know Kris, God does not want happy, he wants HOLY and He will do whatever it takes to help us get there.”

And today’s blog post was born.....

God wants Holy, not Happy

When we become Christians, we put our FAITH in Christ, and are sealed for Heaven. Like those who came before us, including the 12 Disciples and New Testament Church, we pledge our allegiance to Christ and choose to FOLLOW Him and SERVE Him. We choose to OBEY Him, which includes carrying out the Great Commission by sharing the Gospel, Baptizing Believers, and making Disciples as we go through life. Then, when this life is over and we die, we go to Heaven. That's the deal. God wants HOLY people, not HAPPY people. This is NOT to say that God's children are never happy. There are things that make us happy for a time. However, we are called to be a HOLY people.Scripture says that we...

...are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9

No where in God's Word does Christ promise "happiness" or even "comfort", "good health", or "prosperity" in return for adequate faith or obedience. He does not promise that all God's children will have children, get married, drive a new car, live in the suburbs, get a great education, have great jobs or live a stress free life. Actually, this is what JESUS himself tells His followers....

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

To see what "things" He is referring to, head on over to John 16 and read for yourself.

Note that Jesus tells the Disciples "so that in ME you may have PEACE"
He is telling them (and us) where to LOOK (to Jesus) AND what to look for (PEACE). He ALSO tells us where our courage and strength are to come from "I (Jesus) have overcome the world".

Let me ask you this: Are you looking to your spouse, career, possessions, children, parents, education, house, friends, or anything else (even GOD) for HAPPINESS? If so, it is time, sweet sister, to look to JESUS for PEACE.

If you are discouraged because you have been searching for happiness, let me encourage you to pray with me....
Father God,
I have been searching for happiness and have, for the most part, been disappointed. Someone always has a bigger house, newer car, more sparkly jewelry, cuter kids, a better career and a more romantic husband. Someone is always prettier, smarter, better dressed, more "together", kinder, or all together "better" than me. Lord, there is a longing in my heart for what I thought was happiness, but I was mistaken. What I am longing for is peace. I long for peace to get me through lonely nights, betrayals, disappointments, illnesses, and all the other things that I fear. I need YOUR peace Lord Jesus. I do want to be holy and wholly Yours.

Before we part today, I want to remind you, precious reader, of one other thing. God and sin cannot reside in the same space. So, before you leave this time of prayer, I want to encourage you to prayerfully ask God to reveal any sin in your heart. When He reveals it to you, resist the temptation to justify your sin and instead simply ask Your Heavenly Father to forgive you and to help you turn from that sin so that you can be Holy and wholly His.

praying for you,

"For Ladies Only" is the ladies ministry of Pearson Baptist Church in Pearl Mississippi.