Tag: devotional

Make Happiness Your Habit

Make Happiness Your Habit

Make happiness your habit, nurture it daily.
Happiness.

Some believe that happiness is merely an emotion, a feeling, that can be easily influenced by outside factors. What if it can be a conscious state of being instead? What if we could nurture a happy, joyful, contented mindset?

Sure, there are times when we cannot help but be swayed by the things that are going on around us. Maybe you had a bad day. Perhaps your boss yelled at you or a project you worked extremely hard on was rejected. Maybe the kids are rowdy and not listening to you. Even in the midst of “life”, we can choose to stay angry, depressed, or moody or we can say: “No, not today. I’m not going to let this ruin my whole day and sour my attitude.”

It will not always be easy. The apostle Paul wrote: “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.” (Philippians 4:11) Even when we face challenges and trials, we can overcome by not allowing these experiences to drag us down emotionally or render us anxious.

Isaiah 26:3-4 encourages us: “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.” And Jeremiah 29:11 promises: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

What a beautiful promise to hold on it! No matter what your life may look like to you right at this moment, if you trust in the Lord, He will take control and guide you to a future and hope. So what do we actually do?

There are many ways that we turn happiness from an emotional response into a habit. Here are just a few simple ones that we can start putting into practice right now:

1. Keep a journal and make a note of what makes you happy so you can see what events in your life are influencing your emotions. If certain things make you happy, try to do them more often. If certain things give you stress or anxiety, try to limit or avoid exposure to them.

2. Eat healthy and exercise. Following a nutritional diet, drinking plenty of water, getting fresh air, and doing moderate exercise on a daily or weekly basis helps our bodies and minds stay balanced. When our minds are balanced, we can handle stressful or difficulty situations more calmly and rationally.

3. Spend time with God every day to help fulfill your spiritual needs and desires. Doing a devotional, reading the Bible, and praying are all calming experiences that can ease tension, fear, and worry. When you relinquish the control and allow God to work in your life, not only will He change you but He may guide you in new ways you did not anticipate.

4. Help others by volunteering your time and talents. Many have realized that helping others cultivates compassion, but it also prevents the development of selfishness, which is often a major source of unhappiness!

Proverbs 17:22 tells us that “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” I choose to make happiness my habit and nurture it every day. How about you?

God’s Protecting Care

God’s Protecting Care

Awhile ago, Bradley found an 1923 edition of “A Book of Worship: For Use at Table On Every Day of the Year” by Wade Crawford Barclay at a Goodwill or Savers. As you already know, I absolutely love collecting old books, and it is even better when the book is on a subject that interests me: Christianity, history, teaching, etc. This book in particular is a very early daily devotional, and we both love it! Each day has a theme, a verse of the day (single Scripture verse), a lesson for today (longer Scripture passage), a poem or prose on the topic, and a powerful prayer. It is wonderful to read aloud. We even read one at Vespers last Sabbath when we had a large group of friends over and they seemed to enjoy it, too.

To share an example, here the devotional for July 16:


FAITH AND HOPE

July 16
Verse for the Day: “But let all those that take refuge in thee rejoice, Let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them.” –Psalm 5. 11.

Lesson of the Day: 1 Peter 5. 5-11.

6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time; 7 casting all your anxiety upon him, because he careth for you. 8 Be sober, be watchful: your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 9 whom withstand steadfast in your faith, knowing that the same sufferings are accomplished in your brethren who are in the world. 10 And the God of all grace, who called you unto his eternal glory in Christ, after that ye have suffer a little while, shall himself perfect, establish, strengthen you. 11 To him be the dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

“Whate’ver God does is well!
In patience let us wait;
He doth himself our burdens bear,
He doth for us take care,
and he, our God, knows all our weary days.
Come, give him praise.”
–B. Schmolck.

“Abide with me from morn till eve,
For without thee I cannot live;
Abide with me when night is nigh,
For without thee I dare not die.
Watch by the sick, enrich the poor
With blessings from thy boundless store;
Be every mourner’s sleep to-night,
Like infant’s slumbers, pure and light.
Come near and bless us when we wake,
Ere through the world our way we take,
Till in the ocean of thy love
We lose ourselves in heaven above.”
–Henry F. Lyte.

Prayer for the Day: “Almighty and most merciful Father, thou art a God that hearest prayer; and we are encouraged to draw nigh unto thy throne of grace, most humbly beseeching thee to look upon us according o thy tender mercy in Jesus Christ. With many thanks for thy past mercies we now cast ourselves upon thy protecting care, trusting in that wisdom which cannot err and in that love which cannot fail. Do thou appoint our lot as seemeth good to thee. Father, not our will but thine be done! Preserve us from temptation; preserve us from sin; preserve us from our own evil hearts. Send thy good Spirit to direct and guide us in the ways and works of godliness; purify our affections; enliven our devotion; teach us how to pray and how to hear and read and profit by thy Holy Word. Whatsoever we do in word or deed let us do all in Jesus’ name, giving thanks to God and the Father through him. And let the words of our mouths, and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in thy sigh, O Lord, our strength and our Redeemer.” Amen. –Hannah More (1745-1833)


It is wonderful not only to read the Word of God, but to get a glimpse into the thought processes of those who tread this path before us. Here is some insight into the writers who works were included above:

Benjamin Schmolck (1672-1737), hymn writer
Henry Francis Lyte (1793-1847), hymn writer
Hannah More (1745-1833); poet, religious writer and philanthropist