Welcome to Saturday … Welcome new day … Welcome breath … Welcome nature … Welcome …
If you’re thinking UGH! So what! I hope you can see things in a new light by the time the light has once again turned to evening darkness. With the time change, that doesn’t give us many hours to make the best of the gift of this new day. God didn’t have to give it to me or to you, but He has a plan for us today and when he lit up the sky this morning, He confirmed it. I don’t gravitate toward the books of Kings very often, but in Bible study we read about how lepers were outcast and totally rejected and I came across this verse here in 2Kings 7:9 “Then they said to each other, “What we’re doing is not right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until daylight, punishment will overtake us. Let’s go at once and report this.” All you Bible scholars out there – I know – way out of context, but this meant something to the people back then why not stretch it out across our todays because if you’re awake – it’s good news; it’s a gift. Here’s the instruction in Galatians 6:10 “We have opportunity, let us do good unto all people.”
I understand that there are days when joy is not how we define our day. We face giants and are overcome with fear. People battle chronic, painful illness and grief for other reasons. I just learned that the father-in-law of one of my best friends passed away last night. There is deep sadness in that family. The effects of loss come in variegated shades of circumstance. Maybe today isn’t going to be a joy ride, but what if there’s a glimmer of hope that later transforms the blues to bliss? Well OK, but it’s something to aim for. Here’s one idea: Haggai 1:5 says “Give careful thought to your ways.” That makes sense, especially when considering that all our acts start with a thought. Let’s peek at Philippians 4:8 in the Message translation “Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.”
We can’t think ourselves happy. Happiness is circumstantial – bad things happen, our hearts get broken, things we love are stripped away; life is about loss sometimes and we sink to the ground empty and deflated like last month’s helium balloon. Maybe you’re feeling like that and are tired of reading about being happy when you’re struggling to find a thread of hope. Why am I trying to convince you that today has potential to bring joy? Because today it’s my turn to practice what Romans 15 so appropriately maps out for us. It starts out by saying “We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.” Today I can encourage you because it’s my day to be strong. On another day, it will be you who encourages me when my stamina and faith are waning. See how that works? But let’s continue “Everything written in the past was intended to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.”
Happiness might be outside your grasp today, but joy is internal, stemming from firm faith in God who has all power, all knowledge, and is everywhere, all the time. Today might not be a happy day; tomorrow might not look good either, but we can have contentment, peace, and joy when our thoughts are on track with Philippians 4:8 “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. “ This is my prayer for you today because I know that you can find joy and happiness will return. Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
I’m going to think on the good things …. How about you?