Tag Archives: God

Joy vs Happiness

Though the cherry trees don’t blossom and the strawberries don’t ripen, Though the apples are worm-eaten and the wheat fields stunted, Though the sheep pens are sheepless and the cattle barns empty, I’m singing joyful praise to God. I’m turning cartwheels of joy to my Savior God. Counting on God’s Rule to prevail, I take heart and gain strength. I run like a deer. I feel like I’m king of the mountain! – Habakkuk 3:17-19

Happiness is an emotion so many strive for each day. People do things that make them happy. They try to surround themselves with people who make them happy, eat things that make them happy, listen to music that makes them happy and read books that make them happy. Yet life isn’t always happy. In fact there are times in life that are downright unhappy!

For the writer of the book of Habakkuk he looked out of his window and saw conditions that were far from happy. Recession had hit, wealth had gone and the harvest had failed. For the person who filled their life trying to find happiness, this sight who have thrown their world upside down. However, for the writer of Habakkuk this was not the case. You see this man had something called joy!

Joy is not happiness! Don’t ever confuse the two. Happiness is an emotion, a condition, a feeling! Happiness comes and goes. Happiness goes out the back door when sadness knocks on the front door. So for the one who fills their life striving for happiness, the arrival of sadness brings death to their pursuit. However, joy is not an emotion, nor is it a condition, it is a permanent fixture in one’s life. It is the very fruit of a life that seeks God not self. This fruit does not fall when storms arrive, it does not rot when conditions change and it does not flee when your world comes crashing down!

The reason for this is that joy comes from the Lord, the eternal, sovereign, awesome Lord. What the Lord gives no-one can snatch away and when God gives joy the conditions of the world around you can have no impact on the fruit that is produced through a life that seeks God.

Are you a happiness seeker or a joy producer? One leads to real contentment, the other to many days of emotional heartbreak! Seek God and allow the fruit of joy to be produced!

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Creative Genius

God has selected Bezalel son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. He’s filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability, and know-how for making all sorts of things, to design and work in gold, silver, and bronze; to carve stones and set them; to carve wood, working in every kind of skilled craft. And he’s also made him a teacher, he and Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. He’s gifted them with the know-how needed for carving, designing, weaving, and embroidering in blue, purple, and scarlet fabrics, and in fine linen. They can make anything and design anything.” – Exodus 35:30-35

We the church love to lift people who can preach, sing, lead and administrate on a pedestal. We see the teachers, the leaders, the prophets, the evangelists and the pastors as those with the ultimate gifts for the church. However, there was a gift that was given to the world many years before there was ever a teacher, a preacher or an evangelist. It was the creative gift.

God the creator showed His creative genius when he created the world. He showed His creative genius when He designed man. He showed His creative genius when he formed Eve! I believe that creative gifts are directly from the throne room of God.

We see in the book of Exodus that God is giving Moses the law. There comes a point before anyone makes any sacrifice to the Lord. Before any worship occurs and before the law is put into effect that God tells Moses that those with creative gifts are to work their creative genius on the tabernacle of God. God singles out two men who are what we would call creative. In fact the bible tells us that these men were filled with the spirit of God and it was that same spirit that gave these men these gifts.

As a church it is up to the leaders to make sure there is a creative element to that church. God is a creative God and He has given people within that church creative gifts. These gifts aren’t to be just used for the once a year event, or for the week of VBS, but these creative gifts are to be front and center of any church. God gave special instructions to make sure that those with creative genius were allowed to create. I believe God desires the creative people He has sent to your church to be allowed room to create.

Pastor, identify those creative people in your church and empower them to excel in the gifts God has given to them and to your church!


Get Back To Work

Work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. 2 Peter 1:10

It is by grace that we are saved, not about the works we have done, but salvation is a gift of God. That is the fundamental truth about Christianity. No one can work their way to God, no one can buy their way to God and no one deserves to be right with God. However, the wonderful truth about the gospel of Jesus Christ is that it is a free gift to us all.

While this is the best news the world has ever heard, this news was not meant to be left on its own. The book of James very clearly states that faith without works is dead. 1 Corinthians states that faith and all the spiritual gifts of God without the expression of love for others is just a noisy clanging cymbal.

The life of a believer isn’t about just sitting back and waiting for heaven. Life as a believer is more than this. It is about working hard. It is about tackling your issues head on. It is about making a decision to be transformed by the power of God. It is about sacrificing your own desires for the desires of the Lord. It is about choosing to abstain in favor of stopping others from stumbling. It is about getting up and doing when all within you wants to sit and stop. It is about desiring the most useful gifts. It is about helping others who can’t help themselves. It is about working hard to make a difference in the time you have left on this earth.

The life of a believer isn’t easy, but then again who said being called and chosen of God was a walk in the park. It’s not, but the result is an eternity of glory in heaven with your creator. Get up, get moving and get back to work!