Okay, maybe that’s not what Psalm 121:1 says, or any other verse in the Bible. However, joy is a trademark of the Christian life. It’s a fruit of the Holy Spirit who lives within every born again child of God! So what does this mean about happiness? Today after preaching on the life of Abraham and in particular, the story of Isaac on Mount Moriah, I wonder . . . does “The God Who Provides” provide for our happiness? Is that His promise? This occurs to me:
Abraham modeled a life of blessed endurance.
Endurance is not the watchword of “happiness.” Picture a person enduring. Are they happy? Determined, yes. Purposeful, definitely. Happy? . . . When we think of endurance we think of hardship, trials, suffering, even danger. And that’s because this is usually why endurance is required. Abraham lived this. He is not just the father of blessing and faith; he is the father of blessed endurance.
Those of us who are reading through the whole Bible in 2015 are 10 glorious chapters from finishing the Book of Exodus. Talk about endurance! Way to go. We are just one chapter away from finishing Matthew’s Gospel. Jesus was just betrayed, arrested, tried, tortured, crucified, and buried. Our Savior endured and suffered gladly so that we might be part of the blessing promised to Abraham. And we continue to hear preaching through Genesis and the stories of the Patriarchs. Incidentally, one of the Patriarchs, Abraham’s grandson, is named Jacob. The Hebrew name Jacob translates in Greek to the name James. They are the same name. And James in the New Testament tells us this:
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. . . 12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. (James 1:2-4, 12)
Prayer: Oh God, everything I need is found in You. The life you call me to, the life of obedience and faith, is not easy, but it is blessed. It is good. Anything else is counterfeit. I want the real thing. Help me endure. I choose to be happy, because you have set me free. Amen.