April McGowan

Happiness

I’ve been pondering our need for happiness.  There’s a lot to be said of happiness in our part of the world.  Will the right relationship make us happy?  The right job?  The right amount of money?  The right appearance?  Obedient children?  Good health?  We strive after all these things in our western society, often conveniently forgetting that the greater part of our world actually lives in poverty and degradation that we can’t even begin to imagine.  And yet we still yearn for happiness and wonder what will bring that often elusive sense of completion and contentment.  I’ve come to the conclusion that temporary happiness is a poor replacement for true joy.  True joy only comes through a relationship with Jesus and thus, a relationship with God the father.  Because trials will come, and do come.  Pain comes, illness comes, death comes in our fallen world.  We need to have something to hold onto that will not fade, falter or fail us.  That something is Jesus, through the Holy Spirit indwelling in us, lifting us when we fall, near to us when we call, who saves us when we cry out to him.  He is the comforter who will love us, strengthen us, and provide us with true joy and a secure salvation.

Psalm 145 14-21

14 The LORD upholds all those who fall
and lifts up all who are bowed down.

15 The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food at the proper time.

16 You open your hand
and satisfy the desires of every living thing.

17 The LORD is righteous in all his ways
and loving toward all he has made.

18 The LORD is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.

19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
he hears their cry and saves them.

20 The LORD watches over all who love him,
but all the wicked he will destroy.

21 My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD.
Let every creature praise his holy name
for ever and ever.

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God’s Provsion

On paper, things don’t look so good right now.  But, paper isn’t what I’m thinking of.  I’m thinking of God’s provision.  I’m thinking of spiritual growth and a changed perspective.  Our changed perspective.   Here’s the breakdown:  I’ve been sick a month, and it’s turned into pneumonia.  As it’s my 5th bout of the infection in the past few years, that gives me reason to pause.  My left lung takes on infection very easily now.  So I must take extra care and precautions.  I’ve got some good medications, one of which I don’t much care for the side effects of,  but you know I like breathing, so I’m going to take it.

Part two: Today my husband lost his job in a round of layoffs.  Now, about five years ago we went through the same thing.  I have to admit that five years ago I panicked.  I drew in, and I shut down.  I knew God would provide, but since I didn’t know how He would do it, I chose to worry.  It didn’t do me very much good.  In the end, we were greatly blessed.  God provided amazingly, and my husband had a job in a month.  So this time  I sort of expected to feel that sense of panic, I mean, I’m sick, we have a lot of medical needs right now, and my son is on a very expensive diet–but you know what?   NONE.  No panic.  I’ve got a long list of things I could worry about and I could talk myself into it I guess, but as the saying goes, why buy trouble?  We’ve been through so much, especially in the past year with my son’s illness.  We’ve learned to rely on God for our every need–emotional and physical.  Because of that I have NO doubt that whatever is coming our way will be okay.  God will provide for our needs. Believe it or not, I’m looking forward to seeing what He will do next!

Mathew 6:25-34

25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

28“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

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