“Happy Is That People”

happy peopleJesus said, “Your joy no man takes from you.” (John 16:22) But we sure don’t feel that way all the time, do we? Happiness and joy can often seem pretty elusive. Is it confession time here? Maybe. I often have to pray against sadness. It just seems to spring up in me like some besetting sin, some old weed that keeps coming back. But I have learned by years of experiences that I can’t give place to it in the same way that the verse says, “Neither give place to the Devil.” (Ephesians 4:27)

Many would say, “But Mark, it’s not a sin to be sad! Sadness is just part of life, we’re all sad sometimes.”

little foxesMaybe so. The problem is, for someone who is trying to maintain a relationship with the Lord and to sort of keep himself in proper spiritual shape, these little things cannot be allowed to come into my mind and consciousness. There’s an obscure verse that says, “The little foxes spoil the vines”. (Song of Solomon 2:15) And the funny thing is that actually and truly, we’ve had a family of foxes in our neighborhood off and on for the last weeks. Yesterday there were three “teenager” foxes in our backyard and I told my mom about that verse, “the little foxes spoil the vines” but she didn’t understand it.

So I told her it was applied as meaning those “little sins”, things that may not seem like such a big deal. Like tolerating a little sadness to come, sit down beside you in your heart and strike up a conversation. It doesn’t seem so bad at first. There seem to be a few things to be sad about. This happened and that happened and this didn’t work out and someone said something I didn’t like.

But maybe it’s from years of experience, I’ve just come to know that this kind of thing has to be recognized and resisted just as much as if someone offered me drugs. The little foxes spoil the vines. And the rest of the verse says, “For our vines have tender grapes”. (Song of Solomon 2:15) The vines of our lives in this sense are tender. Our relationship with the Lord in some ways is tender, if it is fine tuned and is the way He wants it. And that can make it so that we can have a close relationship with Him. We can hear His voice, we are in line for His blessings, we are seeking to do His will, we are looking to experience Him each day, loving Him, loving others and pretty much abandoned to the freedom and joy of our life in Him.

holy spirit doveBut maybe it’s like the picture of the Holy Spirit being like a dove; it can be easily shooed away. And one way that can happen is by allowing ourselves to bend to moods and emotions that are not the ones He wants us to have.

There are just oodles of places in the Bible that admonish us about the benefits of cultivating a happy spirit along with warnings against falling prey to sadness and depression. “A merry heart does good like a medicine…” (Proverbs 17:22) “The joy of the Lord is your strength.”(Nehemiah 8:10b) “If you know these things, happy are you if you do them.” (John 13:17)

smoking Christians-flattenedSo the same way a person with a problem with alcohol or cigarettes can’t allow themselves to have even one smoke, some of us need to treat sadness with the same intolerance. It’s like the verse, “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will raise up a standard against him.” (Isiah 59:19b)  That’s the kind of militant spirit and attitude we need to have if we want to “abide under the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalm 91:1), or as Jesus said, to “abide in the Vine”. (John 15:4)

We just have to fight it. We have to pray, we have to quote Scriptures, claiming the promises of God that He will give us joy and peace and happiness. We have to recognize that it’s not some little innocent thing that we deserve and isn’t so bad. We don’t deserve it because we are forgiven and are aiming to walk in the light. And it is bad because it’s one of those little things that seem so innocent. But the next thing you know, you are totally and utterly defeated, bummed out, ready to give up as you are flooded with more and bigger negative thoughts about yourself, others, God or whatever.

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life“. (I Timothy 6:10) “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sins that so easily beset us.” (Hebrews 12:2) “I will set no wicked thing before my eyes (like “innocent” sadness), I hate the work of them that turn aside (people or spirits who would cause you to come down from the wall of His will and joy) it shall not cleave unto me.” (Psalm 101:3) Wow. What a statement. It’s a picture of these things almost being like some kind of evil, sticky chewing gum that wants to “cleave unto me”, wants to stick to you. Don’t let it happen. Claim His happiness and joy and walk and live in it today and every day.Happy is that people that is in such a case, yea happy is that people, whose God is the Lord.” (Psalms 144:15)

5 thoughts on ““Happy Is That People”

  1. Dear Mark! GBY! I would like to share my recent experience here on this subject. I agree on what you told here and at the same time I would like to add my opinion. I had drinking problems and depression.I tried to pray and stay on Jesus promises and the more I did it the more I feel condemnation in my heart that I was giving place to the devil by such behavior . It came to a thought to kill myself as It was soooo painful to feel sadness and condemnation. I saw that it was attack from the enemy and I needed someone fight for me and help me as I was very weak spiritually and physically. I went to Christian psychologist and I learned that it is very important to recognize the reason of your emotions . I personally found that I feel sad when my nervous system needs time to relax. I also found that my anger could be transformed when I speak up about my needs and feelings.I read that we need to learn to see spiritual and physical parts together . So I see that Jesus helped me through this doctor as now when I feel such love from Jesus and I know the reason of all my sadness and desire to drink.If I meet the person with problems as mine were first I try to see the reason behind and then I teach this person to pray. I can not write all explanation here on what I learned from my problems as my english not so good .One thing I believe that Jesus answer our prayer differently. In my case it was help from outside doctor.

    • Great testimony, thanks for sharing it. So true, Jesus can answer prayer in different ways for different people, so glad to hear this has worked out for you.

  2. Amen, no discharge in this war. The Lord makes sure we don’t get rusty and stiff in our armor, unable to move forward. I have to battle that kind of sadness too. What the Lord showed me to do against is to turn that sadness into desperation, praying for those who do not know Jesus and can’t get help from him as I do and have-and it always works and gives me the feeling afterward that I have fulfilled the will of God.

  3. P.S. What the Lord laid strongly on my heart is to pray desperately for the most radical, cruel Islamists to be converted and become radicals for God’s love, Paul’s instead of Saul’s. Leaders that will after their conversion, their change of heart, be leaders for the rest of their “brethren” and will pull many with them into the Kingdom of God, Amen!

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