All throughout history, people have marked great advances, victories, and momentous occasions with celebration—some of which continue till today, such as birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, promotions, and Easter and Christmas.
On a very cold and gloomy morning, I woke up to find that I had overslept. With an angry groan, I rolled out of bed and began to groggily get dressed. Then I remembered! We had a Women’s Day project early this morning that I was supposed to go to! Our mission had worked out a few different celebrations of women in South Africa, and today we were supposed to go to a center for mothers in crisis and have a morning tea with them, bringing them all sorts of little goodies, including a carrot cake, charming little Swiss rolls, and a gift bag with an assortment of grooming and personal beauty items.
When you accept Me into your life and come to know Me, you come to experience profound and intense happiness. The apostle Peter described this as “joy unspeakable and full of glory.”1
When I died on the cross, I paid the price for the sins of the world—including every wrongful deed you have ever committed. And because I did that, whoever believes in and receives Me will live forever—and that includes you too.
I want you to be filled with My joy, which will be your strength. I want you to rest in My love and be at peace.
Sometimes your expectations are unrealistic and cause you to overextend yourself, and then you end up feeling that you failed or didn’t make the grade. I want to wipe away all those negative feelings. I want to wipe away your fears and worries, and give you peace. All is well.
Who would have thought that I’d be writing an article on the topic of happiness and satisfaction after everything that we have been through this year due to the COVID-19 virus? After having experienced so much insecurity and uncertainty in the air, how could that be a time to think about happiness?
You have heard that the joy of the Lord is your strength.1 How do you get this joy? By loving Me with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your strength, and by loving others. As long as you have a heart of love—love for Me and love for others—I will fill you with My joy and peace.
In God in the Dock, C.S. Lewis included an essay entitled “Answers to Questions on Christianity.” One of the questions is on which of the religions of the world gives to its followers the greatest happiness, and he gave this famous reply:
Inspiration infuses you with renewed zest for life. It influences, moves, or guides you to action. But we all have times when we hit the inspiration skids; when we not only lack inspiration but might even doubt that we’ll ever feel inspired again.
Here’s a great verse: “The people of Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand on the seashore; they ate, they drank and they were happy.”1
I have years of Bible study and learning under my belt, but I’m not sure I’ve heard this verse before. At least, its meaning has always slipped past me.
In spite of every indication that there are difficult times ahead, I’m excited about this new year! I’m enthusiastic about striving for new goals and pushing myself beyond what I think I’m capable of. The noun “enthusiasm” comes from the Greek word enthousiasmos, from enthous, meaning “possessed by a god, inspired.” And interestingly, it was originally used in a derogatory sense to describe excessive religious zeal.