Weekly devotional

Sometimes, we take the people and things God has given us for granted. George Mikes tells a story about a man and his rabbi in Budapest. A man goes to the rabbi and complains, “Life is unbearable. There are nine of us living in one room. What can I do?” The rabbi answers, “Take your goat into the room with you.” The man is incredulous, but the rabbi insists. “Do as I say and come back in a week.” A week later the man comes back looking more distraught than before. “We cannot stand it,” he tells the rabbi. “The goat is filthy.” The rabbi then tells him, “Go home and let the goat out. And come back in a week.” A radiant man returns to the rabbi a week later, exclaiming, “Life is beautiful. We enjoy every minute of it now that there’s no goat — only the nine of us.”

Someone has cited these three keys to happiness: (1) Fret not—He loves you (John 13:1), (2) Faint not—He holds you (Psalm 139:10) and (3) Fear not—He keeps you (Psalm 121:5). The gospel of John adds a fourth key to happiness. John 16:27 says, “For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.” Happiness comes with the proper relationship between yourself and God the Father, which can only be accomplished by being devoted to Jesus Christ, which is seen in your faith in the promises of God. Unfortunately, this is not the type of love we see in our culture today. Today, we see a love that is selfish or self-centered. Problems occur when love for self is raised and the love for God is lowered. In a way, it is a banishing of God from all our thoughts. Lovers-of-self try to be happy by doing what they desire. The moment a man makes his own will the center of life, divine and human relationships are destroyed. But the Bible says differently: love Jesus Christ with all your heart, soul and mind, and the love of God will control your happiness.