I often struggle with believers (Christians) who walk around saying that God just wants us to be happy. I don’t think so. The Bible tells us that he wants us to be obedient. The result of our obedience [being doers of the Word, James 1:22], can be joy. The fruit (result) of the spirit in Galatians 5:22 includes peace and joy. Yes, God delights in his children and our joy is complete when walking in the light of Christ.
Think about it. If God wanted His children to just be happy with no consideration for God’s ways of living, why did those closest to Christ have such hard lives and die very cruel deaths including Christ himself? James died by the sword. Other disciples we know were either exiled, murdered or martyred for their faith.
We live in fallen world; as such both believers and non-believers will have trials. Living without our eyes on Christ makes sadness sadder and loneliness lonelier. Navigating trials is part of our journey. Going through trials in a faithful, obedient, God-seeking manner ensures that we don’t get stuck in the storm. We keep moving toward Christ who leads us to a greater peace and joy in the end.
I’ve mentioned the many lessons our dog, Eli, has taught us in the three years he has been a part of our family. He’s older and more mature now. So are the lessons. Several times a week before I start my work day I go in the living room and I sit for a few minutes of prayer. The opportunist, Eli, comes with me and sits at my feet knowing a scratch behind the ears will be offered.
As I have my conversation with the Father and invite him to lead me through the day, Eli gets comfortable. His head is up. He is still and just looking around. He is listening. I’m sure he’s hearing things I don’t.
Watching Eli made me think; how often we do we just sit and listen? Imagine, being still and simply existing for a few minutes. Breathe. What would come to mind? Would someone come to mind with whom you haven’t heard from in a long time? What dream would you remember? Would you make a decision you’ve been putting off? Would you notice something about the room you are sitting in? It’s a room you’ve been in a hundred times before. Maybe, just maybe you will hear that still small voice answering your prayer, giving you guidance, leaving you with peace.