Do you know what day it is? If you are reading this on Thursday, March 20th you could say it’s the first day of spring. Or you could also say it’s Earth Day, Proposal Day, World Sparrow Day, even Extraterrestrial Abduction Day (no joke!). Just look up special holidays for March 20th and you find all kinds of interesting celebrations and acknowledgements.
As well, March 20th is a special day the United Nations established a few years ago. This day was set apart to bolster the well-being of people all over the world as countries, societies, communities and individuals create environments that foster and bring our happiness, for March 20th is the International Day of Happiness.
This movement was brought to the UN from the small country of Buhtan, a tiny Himalayan Kingdom that has been following an uncanny government policy that aims to strike a fine balance between material gain and spiritual values, says the International Business Times (http://tinyurl.com/pen2f85).
But true happiness or joy is not something that policies, programs or plans can bring about. Sure we can do those things that are enjoyable; a walk in the park, time in the sun, laughing with good friends, exercise, eating some chocolate, a romantic moment, savoring a favorite food, time alone or with people…yes those activities bring a smile. There is even scientific research that certain actions and foods release endorphins and chemicals in our bodies that cause us to feel better. (One list I saw included avocados, spinach, course dark chocolate, blue berries, salmon, and tofu…tofu?? Really? I can’t see how tofu could make the list, but I guess it does for some…I’s stick to dark chocolate!) But see true joy, true happiness is not something we put on; rather it is something we pull out.
John 15:11 I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
The ‘this’ Jesus has told us is that if we believe in Him, continuing to build and foster that close personal relationship with Jesus, His joy is in us…His complete and perfect joy that is not based on our circumstances, but on Jesus’ awesomeness, His character; the glory of His grace, the majesty of His mercy, the splendor of His sovereignty, and the legacy of His love. That is where joy is found.
Joy and happiness are found as we believe and trust in Jesus
Psalm 13:5-6 But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, for He has been good to me.
Psalm 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to Him in song.
Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
As we place our trust in Jesus in all things and sing out how amazing and wonderful and incredible and beautiful and awesome Jesus is, we let out the joy. That’s why we are encouraged to rejoice.
Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
1 Thessalonians 5:16 Be joyful always;
James 1:2-3 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
So let out the joy on this Day of Happiness, for as you do you will not only experience it but you will feel happier. You might even smile!
Seeking that Happy Factor of Jesus with you,
One of the happiest times for those who believe in Jesus is this season of Lent (the 40 days minus Sundays before Easter). It is a time to prepare to experience the full joy of Resurrection Sunday. To help us I have been giving out a daily Bible reading plan. He is the next few days:
Lent Bible Reading for this week and beyond:
Thursday, March 20: John 5:10-18
Friday, March 21: Matthew 5:1-12 (Also see Luke 6:17-26)
Saturday, March 22: Matthew 5:13-16
Sunday, March 23: Matthew 6:19-24
Monday, March 24: Luke 7:1-10 (Also see Matthew 8:1-13)
Tuesday, March 25: Luke 7:11-17
Wednesday, March 26: Matthew 11:20-30
Thursday, March 27: Luke 7:36-50
Friday, March 28: Mark 4:35-41 (Also see Matthew 8:18-27, Luke 8:22-25)
Sunday, March 30: Matthew 9:35-38