The book of Habakkuk is one of the shortest books in the Bible. It begins with the writer’s laments over Israel’s troubles but concludes with a beautiful affirmation of faith: “Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!”1
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.
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.
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?
When life gets to be too much, when everything around you seems to be falling apart, when you feel that nothing you do helps, think about Me. Think about how much I love you. Think about My power. Think about all your blessings. If you thank Me for all the good things in your life, the negative feelings will gradually dissipate.
I remember when growing up as a boy in the USA, Thanksgiving was a holiday I looked forward to nearly as much as Christmas. I loved the fall season with its dramatic colors: the browns and yellows, oranges and reds, as the hardwood trees of the Ohio Valley burst forth with praises of thanks to God for the warm and sunny summer He had just given them. One last attestation to the glory of God before finally shedding their leaves and letting them float down to fertilize the ground.
When I was 17, I went with friends to spend carnival in the city of Salvador. We rented a very cheap house and slept on the floor like most of the locals. Even though our neighbors were very poor, they were exceptionally nice to us. The simple life they lived and the love and friendship they gave freely were the secret to the happiness and laughter they shared. It dawned on me, for the first time, that love was the answer for many of the problems of humankind.