When I was a young college student, and so full of myself (as college students are want to be), I would go around spreading happiness. It was easy, I would just look a friend in the eye — even in passing — and say, “Happiness!” What could be better? So the question has been raised as to how God treats those who follow Him.

First of all, I believe that God gives all the same opportunity. He made provision for everyone, then offers to them the option (see Joshua 24:  14 “Now therefore fear the LORD and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. 15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”) And even Jesus indicated that everyone is included in the love offered in the Incarnation/Crucifixion/Resurrection (note John 3:16).

With this understanding, what should we (that is, those who have chosen to follow the Lord) expect? Does God play favorites, or are we victims of our own outlook–positive thinking people see the good things, negative people see the bad? Of course, it may be that we are concentrating on the wrong question, approaching God from a “what’s in it for me” standpoint. Maybe we should turn the question around and say, “How should I respond to God?” It may move us from our natural bent toward selfishness and get us tracking on a new path marked “selfless” or (better yet) “Christlike”.

It brings to mind the words of the old hymn that reminds us that our outlook can be influenced greatest by our response to Christ and His love:

When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
          To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.

          Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
          To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross,
But is blessed if we trust and obey.

          Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
          To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

But we never can prove the delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.

           Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
          To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet.
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way.
What He says we will do, where He sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey.

          Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
          To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey. (“Trust and Obey” words by J. H. Sammis, music by D. B. Towner)

With all this in mind, dear reader, I say, “Happiness!”

Advertisements