#DailyDevotion Be Happy Always! Right! How Do I Do That?!
1 Thess. 516Always be happy.
Always be happy. What? Well I know the translator here is trying to convey the meaning of the Greek second person imperative of xaipete. Most translations say, “Rejoice always.” I guess perhaps we don’t know what that means in English anymore. Rejoice come from re-joy, i.e. have joy again and again. Maybe we don’t know what joy is. Happy may have been a good word at some time but seems pretty insipid these days. Well, what is joy? Mirriam-Webster online dictionary says: joy: noun \ ˈjȯi \ Definition of joy 1a: the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires : DELIGHT b: the expression or exhibition of such emotion : GAIETY 2: a state of happiness or felicity : BLISS 3: a source or cause of delight
joy verb joyed; joying; joys Definition of joy intransitive verb : to experience great pleasure or delight : REJOICE transitive verb 1archaic : GLADDEN 2archaic : ENJOY
I don’t know. Does any of that help particularly when I’m not feeling particularly delighted, or in a state of well being, happy, felicity, bliss? When you see the word rejoice or joy in the Bible, I think perhaps may we should go with, “emotion evoked by well being…or the prospect of possession what one desires.” I can work with that I think spiritually. What I mean by that is as a Christian can I have well being and a prospect of possessing what I desire? I think the answer to that question is yes. “How so,” you may ask. Well how do I know I am in a state of well being? What is my desire?
Paul helps us out in Philippians 4, 4“Be happy in the Lord always!” You see our joy, our feeling of well being, our desire is in the LORD Jesus Christ. In verse thirteen of the same he tells us how this is possible, 13“I can do everything through Him Who gives me the strength.” Jesus Christ is where our emotion of well being is found having found ourselves in him. Jesus Christ is our hearts desire and he has given himself to us. So Paul is telling us here to focus on our LORD Jesus Christ, believing his promises, trusting them and living our life knowing he fulfills all his promises to us. Indeed we will see him, Jesus Christ, God, and be like him at the resurrection. That is some prospect to look forward to and should evoke the feeling Paul is commanding us to feel.
Paul is commanding us to focus our hearts and minds on the fact that in Christ Jesus the Father is no longer angry with us. Our bodies and souls have been redeemed by our LORD. Whatever we are going through which may try to steal our joy in Christ will cease one day. The LORD is even using these to purify our faith in him so they are not without purpose. So read your Bible. Listen to your pastor’s sermons. Latch your heart, mind and spirit onto the what Jesus has done for you, is doing for you and has promised to do for you in your reading and hearing and you will be able to rejoice, be happy always in the LORD Jesus Christ.
Heavenly Father, we are commanded to be happy or rejoice always but we can only do that in Christ Jesus. Always put Christ Jesus in our hearts that we may rejoice and be happy in him no matter what other circumstances we may be living in, through Jesus Christ our LORD, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit. Amen.