Monday, January 19, 2015

The Secret to Happiness – Part 2

James 4:6-10 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
“God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”

Pastor Robert Charles Sproul of Sanford, Florida brings to light that Christians know moments of happiness, when we are alone in the presence of God, in fellowship with Him, and it is enough to know our sins have been forgiven. After explaining conflict’s source, James reveals what ends it and brings true happiness. Humility is the secret to a happy life. The humble person is one who fears God, and such fear flows from a heart that is in awe of God and bows to His authority. The opposite of humility is arrogance. To think God owes us every pleasure we want manifests an unspeakable arrogance that presumes to critique our Creator God’s provision for us. In the arrogance of envy and covetousness, our struggle is ultimately with the Lord. God opposes the proud. Is there anything more foolish than warring with God? He’s the last being I want to have opposing me.  

2 Timothy 3:2-5 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power.

Pastor Bob says, If there is anything that we ought to be in a passionate quest to achieve, it’s the grace of God. By definition, grace is not something you can earn. You can receive grace only if God, n His mercy, gives it to you. It’s a gift. You cannot buy, earn, or merit it. God gives grace to the humble. Humility willingly submits one’s life to God’s sovereign mercy. Humble people recognize that the Lord doesn’t owe them anything.

Psalm 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”

Let’s try a little more humility. Let’s do away with our pride. We must remember that we are unworthy servants throwing ourselves on the mercy of the court. When we demand or try to persuade God  to give us something as if we were His counselors who advise Him of a better way of doing things, we’ve entered into His presence, not boldly as the Bible calls us to do, but arrogantly. We must come to Him humbly in thanksgiving and praise for the grace we've already received. This is the secret to happiness.  

Titus 3:3-7 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.”

In Christ, Brian

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