Happy New Year?
Recently I have heard a lot of people expressing the desire for 2004 to soon be over so they could get into 2005 and make a fresh start. Well, 2004 has been an interesting year full of challenges, but I wonder what makes people think the next year is going to be magically better?
As we start out the New Year maybe we should consider for a moment how most people determine whether they are happy or whether the year they have just lived is worthwhile. The way most people do that is based on their circumstances. In other words, if things have gone the way they want it to have gone they are happy and satisfied. If it has not gone their way, they are unhappy and dissatisfied. Based on this means of determining happiness most people would describe themselves as being somewhere between mildly unhappy to thoroughly depressed.
Would it surprise you that God has an entirely different viewpoint about how people should judge their satisfaction with life? Scripture teaches us that our viewpoint about life should be controlled by our relationship with the Life Giver. That is why Scripture can tell us to rejoice in the Lord alway and reassure us that the joy of the Lord is our strength and preachers can proclaim that with a straight face.
When satisfaction is tied to circumstance, unhappiness and disappointment is assured. The Bible promises people living in a fallen world that in this life they will have tribulation. Difficulties are the normal part of living. Then there is something called the “mystery of iniquity.” It was already at work when the Bible was being written and it has had two thousand years to gather strength since we were first told about it. That means that things are not going to be getting any easier until the Lord Jesus Christ returns. So if you tie your happiness to the world you are going to be disappointed with life. The good news is that God has a better idea, and He is the Hope, the Way, and the Life.
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