“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
I love this verse, it tells me what I need to do to know God’s will. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I struggle knowing what that is. God’s will or my will?
It’s similar to knowing the difference between happiness and joy. There are a lot of things that make me happy, it can be superficial or very meaningful: owning a new car, getting a raise at work, the sheer happiness that family brings. But I find my happiness is temporary at best. I can go from happy to unhappy very quickly, given the right circumstances. From a recovery standpoint, I spent a long time trying to capture and live for happiness; the time spent didn’t include a thirst for faith, rather I was thirsty for the things of this world, it played right into my addictions. Trying to find happiness in a bottle, a drug, in food, unhealthy relationships or on the internet is right where Satan wants us to be.
Joy on the other hand isn’t an emotional response to external stimuli, it comes from a deep abiding faith in God and it is eternal. I think of the Apostle Paul’s writings when he was imprisoned. I don’t know how much happiness he had, but the joy was obvious. Joy is an attitude of the heart that is found in our personal ongoing relationship with Christ. Joy is found in us, deposited by God through the Holy Spirit. When happiness fades, joy remains. There is joy in pain and suffering, for in the middle of turmoil we realize how great our God is.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4
I heard a great analogy about happiness and faith. Happiness is like a thermometer that changes based on the environment. Joy is a thermostat that we can learn to set that will affect the environment around us.
So how do we know God’s will for us? Be joyful, pray continuously and be thankful in all circumstances; the good, the bad, the ugly. As we continue to experience God’s grace we will find the answers to our questions. Those earthly things that once baffled us will no longer be.
If you want to see joy in people’s lives then come to Celebrate Recovery this Friday night. It is our 14th Year Anniversary Celebration at Crossroads Church and you are invited!!
Love God, love people, Jesus first!
Dana Cramer // Celebrate Recovery at Crossroads
Celebrate Recovery at Crossroads Church Calendar
April 23-29, 2018
Friday, April 27: CR 14th Anniversary Celebration!
- 6pm: Our Hospitality Team is preparing a wonderful dinner for you. Please join us for dinner and fellowship.
- 7pm: Join us for an hour of worship and the biggest birthday party of the year!
- 8pm: Open Share Groups.
- 9pm: Sold Rock Café.
- A new Men’s Chemical Addiction 12-Step Group has started and meets every Monday from 6:30-8pm in the Crossroads Loveland in Room 138. For more details, contact [email protected].
- A new Men’s Mixed Issue 12-Step Group has started and meets every Monday from 6:30-8pm in the Crossroads Loveland Conference Room. For more details, contact [email protected].
- April 27, 2018: CR 14 Year Anniversary Celebration!