“Happy are those who keep His decrees and seek Him with all their heart.” (Psalms 119:2)
As former pastor, and now a missionary, I have had a lot of contact with many Christians in various countries. One of the things that all Christians, no matter where we’re from, have in common is the lack of joy and happiness. Many of us spend a lot of time looking for joy and happiness in many different ways like, sports, work, money, sex, drugs, alcohol, power, control, to mention a few. But, if the truth be told, those things have let us down.
In today’s verse, God teaches us the only way we can actually achieve true happiness and joy. Although it’s a very short verse, it is powerful. Let’s take a deeper look at what God says.
- “Happy…” – friends, this is a happiness and joy that only comes from God – His happiness is because of the fact that we have chosen to put all our faith and trust in Him. He is happy with our decision, therefore, we’re happy.
- “are those…” – the word, “those”, is exclusive. What God gives comes with a condition.
- “who keep His decrees…” – condition #1: those who live in immediate, radical, costly, obedience to His commands. God, throughout the Old Testament, demanded immediate, radical, costly. obedience from the Israelites, and in the New Testament, Jesus demands immediate, radical, costly obedience from all who have put their faith and trust in Him. Here’s what Jesus had to say:
“Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and don’t do the things I say? (Luke 6:46).”
If we think that immediate, radical, costly obedience is not important to a Christian’s life, this next verse should dispel any doubt:
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven,but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven (Matthew 7:21).”
Remember that we are not saved by works, but by faith in what Jesus did for us on the cross.
- “and seek Him…” – condition #2: this means to seek His will for our lives with the sole purpose of obeying it in and immediate, radical manner, no matter the cost.When God reveals His will to us, there is nothing to pray about, except about how and where He wants us to do it. Then, we do it!!!
- “with all their heart.” – condition #3: that our motivation fro everything we do must be love for Him, for what He has done for us.
To sum it all up, God is telling us that true happiness and joy is achieved only when, with all our hearts, we seek God’s will and strive to live in immediate, radical, and costly obedience to His commands. But, this must be motivated by our love for Him and what He has done for us, not for our benefit, but for His benefit, and the benefit of others.
- how are we going to obey today’s Scriptures?
- With whom are we going to share today’s lesson?
- With whom are we going to share the story of our salvation and the story of what Jesus has done for us?
In Christ’s love’