03/23/20 - Pastor John

Happy? Blessed?

The book of James is one of my favorite segments of the Bible. It’s full of practical wisdom.

This bit of scriptural wisdom seems to echo a bit of Jesus’ sermon on the mount. Blessed or happy are the poor... blessed or happy are those who endure testing or trials.

How do these things grow happiness within us? James points to eternal love, eternal life for those who endure trials in this life while maintaining a devotion to God. But I don’t believe that passing a “test” is our aim - seeking to know and see God at work in all things brings us happiness.

when we are tested,
when we are poor,
when we are weak or mourning,
when we make effort to follow God and see/be God’s workers even in difficult times, it brings us happiness or a state of knowing how blessed we really are.

Yes! I believe that the happiness/blessing James writes about extends into eternity, but it also exists in the now. “How can that person be so happy during their illness? How can that person find or develop a positive attitude during isolation and in the midst of fear?”

God’s promises and faithfulness ARE blessings. They ARE ready to be claimed - today.

Seek God, discover joy/peace/happiness which was intended to be discovered today and extend into everlasting.

I’m praying for you.

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Ankeny First United Methodist Church
206 SW Walnut Ankeny, Iowa 50023