Grace for Your Day November 8

In his book on Happiness, Randy Alcorn writes:
I first heard about Christ as a teenager, visiting a church youth group. Initially, Bible stories seemed to me like Greek mythology . . . Then I read the Gospels, and I came to believe that Jesus was real and I felt a profound happiness that I had never known. My heartfelt gladness was the result of being born again, forgiven, and indwelt by God’s Spirit . . . My parents immediately noticed the change. (Mom liked it; Dad didn’t) . . .
I never considered the things I gave up to follow Christ as sacrifices – mainly because they hadn’t brought me real happiness. My worst days as a believer seemed better than my best days before knowing Christ. Jesus meant everything to me. I wasn’t attempting to be happy; I simply was happy . . .
It is a fact that those who know they are favored by God are joyful about it, and those who know that God’s favor is eternal can be at rest in Him when every outward circumstance argues against it . . . Nowhere in Scripture is happiness or joy reserved for when life seems to be going our way. Life’s dramas constantly conspire to rob us of joy. But these circumstances, and our shortcomings, are not nearly as big or as permanent or as powerful as God is. For, while we still live in a foreign world, we can enjoy it to the best of our ability if we trust in the risen Christ.
Randy Alcorn is right. Believers can be happy in this life. They can be joyful no matter what life may bring to them if they keep their faith in God which is exactly what Solomon says in Ecclesiastes 9:1-2, 7:
For I have taken all this to my heart and explain it that righteous men, wise men, and their deeds are in the hand of God. Man does not know whether it will be love or hatred; anything awaits him . . . Go then, eat your bread in happiness and drink your wine with a cheerful heart; for God has already approved your works.
The word for “happiness” is simchah in Hebrew which refers to something that makes you extremely glad because it brings peace into your soul. Solomon says that believers can have that even though life is uncertain. We can possess joy even though we do not know what it will bring because we realize that God is in control of it. He is in charge of this world and that makes us happy.

This is a difficult subject for many today because this world is so discouraging to them. As they look around and see all the suffering on this planet, it makes them throw up their hands in despair. Yet Solomon says that it should not do that for us because we know who runs the world. We believe in the God Who created it and that is where our hope is found which is what we will be talking about this week at Grace Fellowship Church.

This Sunday, we are going to continue our studies in the Book of Ecclesiastes with a sermon entitled “Eat Your Bread in Happiness & Drink Your Wine with a Cheerful Heart” at our 9:30 service. It will be a pleasant distraction from all the discouraging things that we have talked about so far in this book because Solomon’ advice here is not dreary. He says that you can find peace in God. You can enjoy this life no matter how bad it gets if you remember that “God has already approved of your works” which means that He has already accepted them through faith alone. He has already saved you if you put your trust in Him which is a wonderful reminder because it gives you peace amidst the turmoil on this earth.

Please join us as we study this important truth and learn what it means together in the morning service. – Jeremy Cagle