CLERGY CORNER: Try happiness

Posted on 12 July 2018 by LeslieM

Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises.— James 5:13 (NLT)

No one is exempt from going through bad times, but please do not forget that we have many good times also. Whether everything is great or it totally stinks, God should always have our attention. Last Sunday when I went to church, I knew I was in for a great day. How could I not be? I was in God’s House, the “Happiest Place on Earth.” However, as I looked around at this happy place, I started to think. In this happy place, there was a crying child, a man who just lost a family member to Cancer, a young woman going through a divorce and a preacher that felt each of their pain. I couldn’t help but think, even in God’s House, the happiest place on earth, there is still suffering and hurting people. Check out Psalms Chapter 20 (Awesome):

1 In times of trouble, may the LORD respond to your cry. May the God of Israel keep you safe from all harm.

2 May he send you help from his sanctuary and strengthen you from Jerusalem.

3 May he remember all your gifts and look favorably on your burnt offerings.

4 May he grant your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans.

5 May we shout for joy when we hear of your victory, flying banners to honor our God. May the LORD answer all your prayers.

6 Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed king. He will answer him from his holy heaven and rescue him by his great power.

7 Some nations boast of their armies and weapons, but we boast in the LORD our God.

8 Those nations will fall down and collapse, but we will rise up and stand firm.

9 Give victory to our king, O LORD! Respond to our cry for help.

Psalms 20 (NLT)

For some, our happiest place is with our family and friends, or taking a walk on the beach. We cannot escape suffering; no matter how hard we try, we are not exempt. Sometimes, suffering is used for correcting; sometimes, it is used for God’s glory; sometimes, it is used to build our character, and sometimes one person suffers for another’s benefit. Yet, there are times when we really don’t understand why others or we ourselves are suffering. Like Job from the Bible, we must seek to trust God and endure because we win when we do! We have a happy place found in the presence of the Lord. If God could hear Jonah’s cry from inside the whale, then I am sure he can hear your cry. One thing is for sure: if we are suffering in any way, then we should be praying and talking to God a lot. What do you think?

Perhaps you are in a season of hurt or suffering right now. In this moment, it may not be clear why your suffering is happening. Your role in this season is to spend time with and reach out to God, knowing that He will help you through this trial with His strength. In this way, at the end of the day, you will be able to rejoice in who God is. James 5:13 says we should pray and praise God during the good times and the bad times. In good or bad times, we better be spending time with God. Try happiness … it is found in the presence of the Lord.

Pastor Tony Guadagnino is a pastor at Christian Love Fellowship Church, located at 801 SE 10 St. in Deerfield Beach. www.clfdeerfield.com.

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