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Satan’s Plot to Destroy the Family ~ Part II ~ “Sex Just Another Activity”

Sex is not just another activity. God created sex to be a wonderful, exciting bond between a husband and a wife. When that bond is shared with another, it dulls the electrifying connection between the couple. God created a space where no one else should enter in. In Genesis 2:24 God instructed man and woman to leave mom and dad and become one flesh. They should be one flesh in mind and body. When it comes to sexual pleasure, your heart, mind, and eyes should only see your spouse. Anything else is not God’s design and causes separation and pain. The marriage bed is a safe place to be enjoyed. God is clear that the sexual relationship outside of the marriage bed is dangerous. Hebrews 13:4 “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” The American culture is a prime example of the truth behind this verse.

Before the 1960’s and the Hippie Movement, the family unit as described in the Bible (Husband + Wife + Children) was highly valued. The man took great pride in being responsible to take care of his family. He was the leader and provider. The woman took pleasure in walking alongside of her husband to make sure that the family’s needs were being met. When sacrifice for and the best interest of the family was put in the forefront, the home ran with love and unity. When selfishness was the motivating factor, things did not work out well. Sex outside of the marriage bed was called what it was ~ SIN. Abortions were rare and unheard of. Family was there for each other. The family unit was a powerful bond.

Satan did not like the power, love, and unity that came from a strong family unit. In order to destroy the family, he had to attack the powerful, connecting bond between a husband and wife. If he could weaken and destroy that bond, he could destroy the family. Satan would use the Hippie Movement of the 1960’s to get the ball rolling.

The Hippie Movement was all about free love and sexual liberation. They had a “if it feels good, do it” attitude, yet they had very little thought or concern for the consequences of their actions. They had no problem having multiple sexual partners or having sexual relations outside of the marriage bed. Sin may be enjoyable for a time, but it will take you further than you want to go and cost you more than you want to pay. Where has this “free love” attitude taken us and what has it cost us? Here are some statistics:

  • Abortions went from approx. 300 a year in the early 60’s to approx 1.3 million a year. Over 50 MILLION babies have been killed. “Free love” has not been free; instead, it has cost many people their lives.
  • In the US in the year 2000, an estimated 8 million cases of sexually transmitted infections occurred in fifteen- to twenty-four-year-olds. (This is just one year) (1
  • Sexually transmitted infections kill, cause infertility, cause death and blindness to offspring, causes depression and a feeling of uncleanness or regret.
  • Sexually active girls are three times more likely to be depressed and three times more likely to have attempted suicide as virgins; sexually active boys are twice as likely to be depressed and eight times as likely to have attempted suicide as virgins. (2
  • In the 1970’s there were approximately 3 million single family homes; today there are over 10 million. (3
  • Many people do not even get married and of those who do marry, about 50% end in divorce. It seems that the kids suffer the most.

It saddens my heart that sex has become such a lustful, selfish act that a young girl could be unmercifully raped and people think it is so funny and normal that they take videos and walk away not even caring about the girl being violated. Where has our society gone?

I believe it is time for our country to take a stand to protect our young ladies and their offspring from the pain, sorrow, and death that is resulting from sex outside of the marriage bed. It is time to encourage our young people to wait to date until they are ready for marriage. It is time for our girls to take a stand and say, “I will no longer be used, abused, and tossed away like a dirty rag. I will wait until I am someone’s treasure.”  It is time for our guys to say, “I will not abuse or use a girl. I will wait to date until I am ready to take on the responsibility of raising my family and treating my wife like the treasure she is.” In my next blog, I will be sharing why it is so important for young people to wait to date until they are ready for marriage.

1) McIlhaney, Joe S., Jr., MD and Freda McKissic Bush, MD: Girls Uncovered, pg. 36; Copyright 2011:  Northfield Publishing, Chicago

2) McIlhaney, Joe S., Jr., MD and Freda McKissic Bush, MD: Girls Uncovered, pg. 69; Copyright 2011: Northfield Publishing, Chicago

3) American Association of  Christian Counselors; Caring For Teens God’s Way

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Coping Strategies ~ Part III ~ Positive Coping Strategies ~ Emotions XI

Today I will be covering positive (having a good effect; marked by optimism) coping strategies. I talked in a previous post how stress is any circumstance that threatens or is perceived to threaten one’s well-being and taxes one’s coping abilities. Our bodies and brains are made to handle only so much before it can take no more. Physically, when we overload our bodies with food, drugs, alcohol, or tobacco, it is only a matter of time that our bodies break down and can no longer function normally. The same holds true when it comes to our emotional well being. If you have too much stress coming at you all at once, it is only a matter of time that you will break down emotionally.

Remember, your emotions are there to tell you something. Listen to them. If you are feeling overwhelmed, stop and do an evaluation of what is going on in your life to find your sources of stress (Coping Strategies ~ Part I has a list to get you started). After you find the sources, then you want to sit down and rationally think through changes that you can make to alleviate some of those sources. Your stress could be causes by too many activities, bad relationships, sin, poor time management, unresolved issues, etc. Evaluation is important because making quick decisions without evaluation can bring more stress. Brainstorm on what changes you can make in your life to lessen your stress level. Do not try to put into effect all your ideas at once (that could set you up for failure). Start with one idea and implement it.

Often, you are not able to think clearly when you are on stress overload. If you are unable to evaluate your stress and necessary changes, it is important to call in reinforcements. Seek God’s face and listen to His still, small voice. James 1:5-6 is one of my favorite verses that I claim often, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.” Talk to someone who you trust who can help you think more clearly. This person could be a family member, a friend, a pastor, or a counselor (make sure the person you go to has their life together and you can trust them to give you godly counsel). ~ Proverbs 19:20 “Listen to counsel and receive instruction, that you may be wise in your latter days.” Do not be embarrassed and try to do it on your own. God has placed people around you as a way to be there during your trials. When you turn others away, most often, you are turning away help from God. ~ Proverbs 13:10 “By pride comes nothing but strife, but with the well-advised is wisdom.

There may be times when there is unexpected, added stress, such as a tragic death of a loved one, losing your home to a fire or natural disaster. It is imperative during those times that you let others know you are overwhelmed and let them know of ways that would help you. People do not know that you need help unless you let them know you are stressed. Again, do not be prideful. People are blessed when they help others. Do not steal their blessing!

Exercise is a wonderful way to release stress. Your brain releases chemicals when you exercise that are good for your mood and body. Relaxation can do wonders. Having some down time where you can go “brain dead” for a little time is nice. Humor is a great stress releaser. I have certain friends that just crack me up. I always feel better after I have been with them. Go call that friend, read a funny book, take a nice bath, go out to eat, etc…

Positive reinterpretation is a way to help you evaluate your situation. Many times negative thinking brings depression and unneeded stress. Positive reinterpretation is looking at the positive that can come from what you are going through. It is making positive comparisons. An example would be that your car will not start in the morning. Instead of focusing on the frustrations of the car breaking down, thank God that you are home and begin to do the necessary steps to take care of the issues that resulted because of not having the car. No one is exempt from the struggles in life, so it is important to stay calm and work through them when they come upon you.

Whatever you do, do not hold in your feelings and think they will go away. Humble yourself and share with someone what you are going through and allow God to work in your situation. Remember, as Christians, we are there to walk alongside of each other and help each other see that there is hope. We serve a risen Savior who is alive and well. He will see you through to a better tomorrow if you trust Him, seek help, and be willing to do what is necessary to regulate your stress.

Coping Strategies ~ Part II ~ Negative Coping Strategies ~ Emotions X

Pain hurts!! People will try anything to get the pain to go away. The sad thing is that many people use means that only bring about more pain and suffering. In today’s blog, I will discuss some of the methods people use to cope with stress in ways that only create more problems. The following are some of the ways people cope in a negative way:

  • Giving Up: All too often, when the going gets tough, people give up. This habit begins when children are little and it continues into adulthood. They will be losing at a game, so they quit. They have to sit the bench, so they quit. Their job is a little tough, so they quit. They fall out of “love” with their spouse, so they quit (divorce). Matthew 5:37 tells us that we are to let our yes mean yes and our no mean no. Help your children to know what a commitment entails and then stick with it to the end. Teaching them to stick it out and work their problems through, will prepare them for “cold” times in their marriages. Researching what is involved in the commitment they are making also prepares them to know what to look for in a spouse and details that are involved in a marriage.
  • Aggression: If people do not get their way or someone wrongs them, one of the first things people want to do is react to their situation with aggression. People need to get to the root of their problem and work it through (Take a look at the blog about anger for an example, posted April 17, 2012). Romans 12:21 tells us not to be overcome by evil, but to overcome evil with good. Ephesians 4:28 tells us to be kind, tenderhearted, forgiving one another.
  • Self Indulgence and Self Harm: Harming our bodies (alcohol, drugs, tobacco, non-healthy eating, non-marital sex, cutting…) is never a way to solve a problem or deal with stress. These methods are only cover ups to the real problem. We only have one body to live in while we are on earth. If we do not take care of it, we do not get another one. If we are Christians, then our bodies are temples of God (Romans 12:1).
  • Negative Self-talk: You can talk yourself out of just about anything. If you look at your flaws or how big the problem is, you will never accomplish anything or bring about change. Moses did not think he could be a spokesman for God because he was looking at the fact that he could not speak well. You must know who you are dealing with. If God asks you to do something, then rest assured that He will accomplish His Will in and through you. He will do miracles and you will see the impossible happen. When we can’t, God can!!
  • Defense Mechanisms: People will use defense mechanisms when they do not want to face reality.
    • Denial of Reality: People try to deny the reality to avoid the pain that comes with the reality. An example: You think, “If I hide the fact that I was sexually abused and try to pretend that it never happened, I can go on and everything will be OK. That does not work. It will eat at you and many of your relationships. Until you face the abuse, are aware of the effects it has on a person, work through the trauma, you will be trapped with the effects of what happened to you. You must work with someone who is trained in the area of sexual abuse.
    • Fantasy: Gratifying frustrated desires by imaginary achievements. Wishing things were different is not going to make things different. Pretending you are someone you are not, does not work. The real you will eventually come out. Positive steps will bring about change.
    • Overcompensation: Making up for frustration in one area by over gratification in another. An example: You do not have many friends and are bored so you go out and spend money that you do not have.

These are just some of the ways that people try to deal with their stress. When people are not taught positive coping strategies, they will try anything. In the next Coping Strategies blog I will give you some positive ways to deal with stress that will bring about change and positive results.

God Bless, Linda 🙂

Coping Strategies ~ Part I ~ Emotions IX

Coping is active efforts to master, reduce, or tolerate the demands created by stress. People try to cope with the situations in their lives in many ways, both good and bad. Coping Strategies will be a three-part series. In this blog, I’ll talk about what brings about stress and some of the reasons for stress and trials. In the next blog, I will talk about some ways that people respond negatively to stressful situations which only brings more harm and pain. Last, I will talk about some positive ways to deal with trials that can bring about change and positive results.

Stress is any circumstance that threatens or is perceived to threaten one’s well-being and taxes one’s coping abilities. The following are some stresses and trials that adults face:

  • Daily routines: kids, work, household responsibilities, relationships, unexpected problems…
  • Changes in life: work, marriage, children, losses (loved one, job, material losses like a home), a move…
  • Unrealistic expectations: perfect spouse or children, ideal job, life without heartache, things and people bring happiness…
  • Homelessness, financial struggles, addictions, strife…

As long as we live on this earth, we will have trials and troubles. As Christians, if we do things God’s way, we can save ourselves from a lot of heartache; but we are not exempt from trials completely. We will suffer losses, health issues, pain from the sin of another, and other trials. Hope and peace can be with the Christian knowing that Christ has overcome the world. Jesus tells us this in John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.” Revelation 21:4 lets us know that it is not until Heaven that the Christian will never have any death, sorrow, pain, or crying. Until we get to Heaven, what are we to do with our trials? What is the purpose of trials? How do we cope when trials come upon us? What do we do with the emotions that seem to overtake us during a trial? I hope to answer these questions in the blogs about coping strategies.

First of all, I think it is important to understand that when a person becomes a Christian, they give their life to God to be used to accomplish His Will in and through them. (Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.) As Christians, our lives are to bring honor and glory to God in every situation. (I Corinthians 10:31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.) We must also know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). Any situation that comes in a Christian’s life is an opportunity to give glory to God.

Suffering can be good and is sometime used to accomplish God’s Will. Christ’s suffering was hard but good. Through Christ’s suffering, He made a way to the Father and eternal life for those who trust in His sacrifice. There may be times when God will use our sufferings to lead people to Christ. God may use us to be His hands and feet to comfort others who are going through something that we have already gone through. (II Corinthians 1:3-4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulations, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.)

God uses trials to make us become more like Christ. (Romans 8:29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.) People cannot physically see God and His character. One way for people to see Christ is to see Him in how we live. We may be the only Bible people read. The question to ask is, “Am I being a proper representation of God?” If we are not being a proper representation, God will use trials to bring about godly character in us. (Romans 5:3-4 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.)

Trials can be a faith builder. When we have trials in our life and we see miracles happen, it strengthens our faith. The disciples were with Christ 24/7 and had seen Christ perform many miracles. Christ sent them out to experience a personal storm. Their faith was tested. When Christ calmed the storm, it deepened their faith to know that He was God. No one else could control the wind and the sea. (Mark 4:35-41) There may be times where our situation seems impossible. Then, God comes along and works out the situation. It deepens our faith to know that God is there for us and can do the impossible. He is God!

Sometimes we bring heartache upon ourselves. Sin brings pain and suffering. The consequences to sin are not joyful. Trials can be used to keep us on the right path. The Father chastises those He loves. (Hebrews 12:5-6 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the LORD loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.”) If there were no negative consequences to sin, why would we want to change?

We can see that there are many reasons for trials. When our coping abilities are taxed, what do we do? In the next blog, I will talk about how people deal with their stresses in a negative way. The final blog will be the positive ways to cope that result in positive change.

Till next time, Linda Svacha 🙂

Joy Part II ~ Emotions XIII

When I was preparing for the class on joy, verse upon verse kept coming into my head. God is the author of joy and He is very clear in His Word how we can obtain it. It is up to us to do what is necessary to receive joy. Let God’s Word speak to you.

Being in the presence of God:

  • Psalm 16:11 “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
  • Acts 2:28 “You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of joy in Your presence.”

Joy because of what God has done:

  • Psalm 126:3 “The Lord has done great things for us, and we are glad.”

Faith and trust in the Lord bring joy:

  • Proverbs 10:28 “The hope of the righteous will be gladness, but the expectation of the wicked will perish.”
  • Psalm 28:7 “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him.”

Hope of salvation:

  • I Peter 1:3-9 talks about how we can have joy in trials because we keep our eyes on the end of our faith ~ salvation!
  • Matthew 25:23 “His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant….Enter into the joy of your lord.” (Matthew 25:14-30 is a parable to understand what God has for the Christian.)

God puts gladness in the heart:

  • Psalm 4:7 “You have put gladness in my heart, more than in the season that their grain and wine increased.”

Sorrow turned to joy:

  • Psalm 30:4-5 “Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name. For His anger is but for a moment, His favor if for life; weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”
  • John 16:16-24 talks about Christ leaving causing the disciples to have sorrow, but their sorrow will be turned to joy when they see Him again. These verses talk about the pain of a woman in childbirth, but joy comes when she sees her baby.

Abiding in Christ and bearing fruit brings joy:

  • John 15:9-17 talks about abiding in Christ, keeping His commandments, and bearing fruit.
  • John 15:11 These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.

Joy is a fruit of the Spirit:

  • Galatians 5:22 but the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

Shout and sing for joy:

  • Isaiah 12:6 Cry out and shout, O inhabitant of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel in your midst!
  • Psalm 32:11 Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; and shout for joy, all you upright of heart!

Joy and laughter is good for you:

  • Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart does good, like a medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.

Keep your eye on the joy that is waiting:

  • Hebrews 12:1-2 therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

The joy of the Lord is your strength:

  • Nehemiah 8:10 Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

God’s wisdom brings joy:

  • Proverbs 3:13 Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding;

Notice that joy does not come by having things, knowing people, having the perfect family, job, home, etc. Joy comes in knowing Christ and living for Him. Go back and look at the list again, pick one area that you need to work on, apply it to your life and watch God give you a joy that is beyond what you could have dreamed.

Linda Savcha 🙂

Shootings ~ Will There Be More?

My heart goes out to the many people affected by the Connecticut shooting. The sad thing is I feel we are going to see much more of this. People do not know what to do with their emotions; therefore, they are reacting to them. At the beginning of this year, I was doing a parenting class and was going over the importance of teaching children what to do with their emotions. We talked about how children react on emotions because the front lobe of the brain where problem-solving takes place does not even begin to develop until between the ages of 12 to 15. Many people in the class said, “How are we supposed to teach our children what to do with their emotions when we do not even know what to do with our emotions?”

People have to cope with stress and trauma and will refer back to the ways they were taught and conditioned, even into their adult life. We have less and less adults working with children teaching them what to do when they have problems. As a result, children are responding to their emotions in negative ways. Today, we have children as young as three and four playing violent video games and watching violent movies. They are learning techniques and tactics on how to blow people away in a matter of minutes. They know exactly what weapon to use to get the job done. When they are upset, they react on what they have learned. We need parents and other adults who will step by step walk children through what to do when they have stress or a conflict. You cannot just tell your children not to do something; you must show them what to do. When your children are fighting and you only tell them to stop or go to their rooms, they do not learn what to do to solve the problem. You want to teach them problem-solving skills (going from the cause to a solution). This takes time, but it is time well invested and can save many lives.

Often, when children come to parents or other adults for help with a conflict they are told to quit tattling. They are not tattling. They do not know what to do, so they are coming to you for help. Stop and take the time to walk them through what to do when a problem arises. If you don’t, who or what will?

What do you do? First, you have to get to the root of the disagreement. You get to the root by gathering all the facts from both parties. Once you gather all the facts, you can discuss the steps necessary to solve the conflict in a productive manner. Conflict is also a time to teach character traits.

For example, Caitlin is writing on the marker board and Olivia wants to write something. Olivia asks Caitlin for the marker. Caitlin does not give Olivia the marker, so Olivia grabs it out of Caitlin’s hand. Caitlin gets mad, punches Olivia in the stomach, and grabs the marker back. Caitlin has victory! Wrong. Caitlin may have gotten the result she wanted, but it was not done in a productive way.

It would be much easier to tell the kids that they should not hit each other and put them in a timeout than to spend time walking them through proper conflict solving skills. Chances are if you only tell them to stop, they will repeat the behavior because they do not know what else to do. All they know is that they got the result they wanted (the marker back).

If your children know that you are there to teach them how to solve their conflicts, then below is a conversation you might have. If you are starting to teach them these skills, then you have to walk them through what to do and what you will do. It takes repetition, but eventually it will become habit. Learning to read and write takes time and repetition, so does problem-solving skills. Be patient. You may say the same thing over and over. Eventually, they learn to read, write, and problem-solve.

Mom: “Caitlin, I know that it was wrong for Olivia to grab the marker from your hand, but it was also wrong for you to punch her. Hitting only hurts others and causes more problems. What could you have done differently when Olivia would not give you back the marker? “

Caitlin: “I could have come to you to let you know that Olivia grabbed the marker from me and would not give it back.”

Mom: “That is correct. If you would have done that, what would I have done?”

Caitlin: “You would have made sure that Olivia gave me the marker back, you would have talked to Olivia about her behavior, and given her necessary consequences.” (Caitlin knows what you would do because you have walked her through the steps a number of times.)

Mom: “Because that is not the way you handled it, what has to happen?”

Avery: “I do not get to play with the marker board?” (She knows that the consequences you give always go along with the crime.)

Mom: “That is right. You also need to sit here on the couch for a little bit and think about the correct way to handle a disagreement while I go talk to Olivia about her behavior. Next time, remember that if you cannot solve a problem, come to me and I will help you. That way you will not lose out on what you were doing.”

After you work with Caitlin, then you need to work with Olivia. The following is a conversation you might have with Olivia.

Mom: “Olivia, why did you grab the marker from Caitlin?”

Olivia: “I just wanted to show her something. I asked her for the marker and she wouldn’t give it to me, so I grabbed it from her. I was going to give it right back.”

Mom: “Do you think that people need to give you whatever you want just because you ask them to?”

Olivia: “No.”

Mom: “We know that it is important to share, but at the same time if someone is playing with something, it is not right to expect them to stop playing with it so you can do what they are doing. What should you have done?”

Olivia: “I should have asked her for the marker. If she wouldn’t let me have it and I felt she was being unfair, I could have come to you and you could have helped us see who was right.”

Mom: “Because that is not the way you handled it, there needs to be some consequences for your behavior.” (You decide the consequence. The consequence could be that Olivia does not get to play with the marker board for a length of time.)

Have the girls come back together and apologize to each other for their behavior and discuss any other character traits you would like to teach them at this time.

Ask yourself, “Am I teaching my children problem-solving skills?” “Do I allow my young children to play violent video games?” “Do I send my children away when they come to me for help?” What one change can you make today to help your children know how to handle stress in a positive way?

I used to use negative coping strategies to deal with situations because I was never taught how to deal with my emotions. As I learned new coping strategies, I began to control my emotions rather than allow my emotions to control me. In the book I wrote, “Pass God’s Legacy to Your Children: One Talk at a Time” I have a section that gives you numerous examples like the above to help your children learn what to do with the many emotions that will come their way. To learn more about what is in the book, go to livingforhimllc.us

I have also created a series of classes on emotions to help people understand what emotions are and how to handle them in a positive way. I was able to present this series at Grace Church in Allen Park and the series was well received. I have summarized most of the classes. You will find the summaries under the heading Emotions. If you are interested in knowing more about the emotion classes, send me an email @ lsvacha@sbcglobal.net and I will get back with you.

Let’s teach our children how to handle their stress and trauma in a positive way.

Joy Part I ~ Emotions XII

 The definition of joy is the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune. It is a state of happiness.

Today, I will not be talking about joy as an emotion, but joy as a state of happiness. Emotions are the result of a reaction to an event, which means your emotions will change. For example, I receive a great joy when I get an email from my husband that reads, “I love my Lindy!” However, I am hurt when someone yells at me or treats me disrespectfully. Joy as a state of happiness is deep rooted in the soul and can override any emotion. You can have happiness in your soul regardless of the current emotion you are feeling or a situation that you are in. True happiness is based on your relationship with your Heavenly Father and being in His Will. You have an unexplainable happiness regardless of your circumstances when you are in a right relationship with God. God created you to bring glory to His name. When you are bringing glory to the name of the Father, you experience a continuous joy.

I know this is true. I have experienced it myself. I was a single mother, did not have a car, had no man in my life, and at times had $5.00 to last me two weeks. It was one of the hardest times of my life, yet it was one of the happiest times of my life. How could I be so happy when I had nothing the world had to offer? I was happy because I had a relationship with Christ and was glorifying His name. I was leading people to the Lord and helping them grow in their walk with Christ.

Then, there came a time in my life when I was married, had a car and money, yet the happiness I felt when I had nothing was not there. I prayed and told God that I wanted that happiness back and asked Him where it went. He showed me that I was looking to my circumstances and certain people for my happiness instead of Him. He helped me see that having a close relationship with Him and doing His Will is where true and lasting happiness comes from.

The joy is back!!! I restored my intimate relationship with God, I am in His Will, doing what He has called me to do, and I couldn’t be happier. As long as I am on the earth, I want my life to bring glory to God. I want God to get the glory in and through every situation that comes my way. As long as I do that, I will have true joy. I know that I need to guard my relationship with God at all costs. Now, if that happiness lessens, I stop and evaluate my walk with the Lord. The following are some things that can get in the way of having true joy.

  • Being so busy that you are not spending quality time alone with God ~ Quality time alone with God is not always doing a Bible study, going to church, and serving God. That is part of it, but it is important to talk with God throughout your day. Many times people get so busy serving God that they forget to spend time just talking to Him.
  • Spending too much time involved in temporal activities ~ Happiness comes when you are serving others, being God’s hands and feet.
  • Being involved in sin ~ Sin robs you of joy and hinders your relationship with God. Sin brings sorrow and sadness.
  • Looking to people and things to bring you joy and happiness ~ People will let you down and die. Things will break, wear out, or become out of date. People and things cannot fill the place in your soul that only God can fill.
  • Putting your wants and desires above God ~ You were created to bring honor and glory to God not yourself. When you live your life for you, you will have a sadness and am emptiness that will not go away. A great acronym for joy is: Jesus ~ Others ~ Yourself. If you change the order in any way, it does not spell joy. When you live for Jesus first, others next, and yourself last, you will have a joy that does not go away even when your circumstances are crazy around you.

If you do not have the “Joy of the Lord,” do a check of your life and ask God which of the above areas you need to work on. Take the time to do a little study on joy. It will change your world. In the next blog, I will have some verses to help you start your study. When you start to apply the verses to your life, you will watch God’s joy and happiness overflow out of you into others. Till next time.

Linda Svacha 🙂