VIDEO The Key to Happiness

He who heeds the word wisely will find good, and whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he. Proverbs 16:20

Happy birthday, Adell Julie Green Thompson! The “rock” of her family recently turned 105, and she gave all the credit to the Lord. Her daughter, Maxine, said, “She trusted God from a little girl. She was always worshiping God and praying. She’s just a unique person…. She likes reading her Bible.” And her grandson Anthony added, “Her faith is so inspiring. Even at her age, she’s still reading her daily devotional. It’s just remarkable how the grace of God and the love of God have just been on her life.”[1]

Trusting God is a tonic for the body, mind, and soul. The Bible doesn’t often use the word happy. The biblical writers preferred to write about joy. But Proverbs 16:20 doesn’t hesitate to tell us that trusting God brings happiness to our heart. It enables us to cast our cares on Him, focus on His nearness, feed on His promises, anticipate His coming, and share His message.

No matter what is happening around us, we can always trust God.

A key to enjoying the Christian life is connecting the dots between our happiness and God’s provision.

Randy Alcorn

[1]Dionne Gleaton, “’She’s the rock of our family’: Santee woman celebrates 105 years with parade,” The Blue Mountain Eagle, October 14, 2020.

Finding God, Proverbs 16:20 – Pastor Chuck Smith – Topical Bible Study

Waiting in Hope

Simeon . . . was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. Luke 2:25

In the movie Hachi: A Dog’s Tale, a college professor befriended a stray Akita puppy named Hachi. The dog expressed his loyalty by waiting at the train station each day for the professor to return from work. One day, the professor suffered a fatal stroke. Hachi waited hours at the train station, and for the next ten years he returned each day—awaiting His loving master.

Luke tells the story of a man named Simeon who patiently waited for the coming of his Master (Luke 2:25). The Holy Spirit revealed to Simeon that he would not see death until he saw the Messiah (v. 26). As a result, Simeon kept waiting for the One who would provide “salvation” for God’s people (v. 30). When Mary and Joseph entered the temple with Jesus, the Holy Spirit whispered to Simeon that He was the One! The wait was finally over! Simeon held Christ in his arms—the hope, salvation, and comfort for all people (vv. 28–32).

If we find ourselves in a season of waiting, may we hear the words of the prophet Isaiah with fresh ears: “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:31). As we await Jesus’ return, He provides the hope and strength we need for each new day.

By:  Marvin Williams

Reflect & Pray

When have you become weary as you waited for God? What encouraged you to endure during that challenging season?

Jesus, I will wait for You. Through pain, tears, and uncertainty, help me to not become weary but to rest in Your provision. 

For hope in the storms of life, read

Our Calling in Troubled Times

John 14:26-28

We’ve been living in difficult times lately, and the more tumultuous life becomes, the easier it is to be self-centered. Even though the future is uncertain, we can’t afford to let ourselves be consumed with fear and anxiety regarding how we might be affected.

God wants us to get our mind off ourselves and onto Him because He is our rock and refuge in trouble. When we rely on our own limited perspective, confusion and hopelessness are the likely outcome. Instead, we must look at the greatness, promises, and purposes of our God as revealed in His Word, because divine truth is our anchor in the storms of life.

Think about how the early church responded to their turbulent time. They went forward boldly—even willing to lose their life—because they knew the gospel was the only hope for a lost world. When persecution broke out against them in Jerusalem, they scattered and took the gospel wherever they went (Acts 8:1-4). God doesn’t want us to retreat from the world and focus on ourselves in times of crisis or instability. This is our opportunity to give hope to others through the message of salvation in Jesus Christ.

According to the Word

“Let my cry come near before thee, O LORD: give me understanding according to thy word.” (Psalm 119:169)

The closing 22nd stanza of Psalm 119 repeats many of the themes of the previous 21 and summarizes this epic to the majesty of the Word of God.

Seven passages contain prayer for “understanding,” which depends on the gracious ministry of the Holy Spirit in our hearts and minds (John 14:26). Our finite minds cannot understand God’s eternal truths apart from revelation and the “mind of Christ” granted at salvation (1 Corinthians 2:16).

Thirteen passages use “according to thy word.” Nothing that we can do pleases God more than our efforts to “magnify” His Word in our lives and ministries (Psalm 138:2). Every sentient creature will be judged by what is “written in the books, according to their works” (Revelation 20:12).

Eight stanzas include the prayer to have God “teach.” Again, apart from the Holy Spirit in our “new creature” (2 Corinthians 5:17), we would be empty of both understanding and wisdom. Through reading and meditating on God’s Word after salvation, we grow effective and gain maturity.

The writer also promised in eight stanzas to “not forget.” Our minds need to become stabilized with memorized Scripture and our hearts ready and sanctified with the stored Word of God so that we can “give an answer” both to those who ask us (1 Peter 3:15) and when we need guidance for our own life decisions (Colossians 1:10).

The psalm ends with a prayer for all: “Let thine hand help me; for I have chosen thy precepts. I have longed for thy salvation, O LORD; and thy law is my delight. Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; and let thy judgments help me. I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments” (Psalm 119:173-176). HMM III

The Text Plus the Holy Spirit

And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness. —Ezekiel 33:31

When you are trying to find out the condition of a church, do not just inquire whether it is evangelical. Ask whether it is an evangelical rationalistic church that says, “The text is enough,” or whether it is a church that believes that the text plus the Holy Spirit is enough….

I would rather be part of a small group with inner knowledge than part of a vast group with only intellectual knowledge. In that great day of Christ’s coming, all that will matter is whether or not I have been inwardly illuminated, inwardly regenerated, inwardly purified.   FBR030, 032

I too, Lord, “would rather be part of a small group with inner knowledge than part of a vast group with only intellectual knowledge.” Fill us with Your Spirit and Your presence today. Amen.

Fuel for the Fire

And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost. —Acts 4:31

A church can go on holding the creed and the truth for generations and grow old. New people can follow and receive that same code and also grow old. Then some revivalist comes in and fires his guns and gets everybody stirred, and prayer moves God down on the scene and revival comes to that church.

People who thought they were saved get saved. People who had only believed in a code now believe in Christ. And what has really happened? It is simply New Testament Christianity having its place. It is not any deluxe edition of Christianity; it is what Christianity should have been from the beginning….

[T]he Holy Spirit will not come on a church where there is no biblical body of truth. The Holy Spirit never comes into a vacuum, but where the Word of God is, there is fuel, and the fire falls and burns up the sacrifice. FBR027-029

His Word is not mere intellectual light, but spiritual life and celestial fire….[R]ead it with burning hearts and glowing love as the love letter of His affection and the mirror of His face. CTBC, Vol. 4/347

To See the End

1 Peter 1:9

The world is always ready to sit at the deathbed of Christianity. From time to time it has confidently proclaimed the end of Christ and all for which He stands.

Sad, indeed, but far more sad when a disciple suffers a spiritual declension and sits down “to see the end” (Matthew 26:58). Not merely an eclipse, a temporary obliteration, but the dark, dismal and final end; the end of all the hopes that came suddenly to life on that bright morning when brother Andrew cried, “We have found Him!” (John 1:41). The end of the grand adventure, the miracles, the walking and talking, the confession at Caesarea Philippi, the holy transfiguration, the intimate supper, the tender prayer, “I have prayed for you” (Luke 22:32). The end! The collapse, the defeat, the final disillusionment.

The disciple becomes a spectator of the last act in the tragedy, before the curtain rings down upon unrelieved night. In and out of the entries and passages, along the narrow streets, the dejected and desperate Peter was drawn on. Fearing to advance, and unable to retreat, his fierce love and insatiable curiosity fighting against his failing faith, he went forward. The crisis held him, compelled him to go on and “see the end.” Matthew 26 is a terrible chapter for Peter; from the 23rd verse on, he cannot get out of the story. There all his swift declensions and denials appear, until the terrible 75th verse, with its bitter tears.

First, he placed a distance between himself and his Lord. I find myself speculating about the measurement of those words, “afar off” (Matthew 26:58 KJV). How far? Then I remind myself that we do not measure spiritual distances in yards or miles, but in love and loyalties. How far is it from the embittered heart of a loveless husband to the empty heart of the disappointed wife?

Was it the second step in the disciple’s collapse when he “went in” (Matt. 26:58 KJV) among the enemies of Jesus? Gripped in a dreadful reaction of despair, he went into dangerous company as he joined the coldly hostile crowd. Christians cannot be neutral. When we are told that he “sat down,” we realize that his convictions are lost in the crowd.

It was nearly the end of Peter. The love of Christ saved this man—the love that knows no end. The love of Christ will save you and me. Indeed, I have no other hope, have you? The end? Not the end of Jesus, but the end of a chapter in a disciple’s weakness, and the beginning of an experience which enables us to bow our heads for his apostolic blessing: “Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:9 KJV).

Albert Orsborn, The War Cry