God wants us to be happy.
Now, by happy, I don’t mean some superficial, worldly notion of happiness, like having more money. I’m talking about true happiness, the kind that the Psalmist describes in Psalm 1 about the man who is “like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither” (v. 3). God desires for us to experience a deep, rich and nourishing happiness.
So, how do receive this happiness from God? For that, we turn to habits.
In this new series at The Art of Taleh, we want to share several habits that, we believe, will, not only strengthen our faith, but cause happiness to swell within us.
Now, I’m deliberately using the term, “habit,” because we are creatures of habit. We all have habits, whether we realize it not. We have set times that we wake up, that we eat. There are certain things we do when we return from work or school. We have set rhythms when we’re going to bed. We have habits. Some habits require more time than others, but we all have them.
However, not all habits are good. You see, if God determines how we are filled with happiness, then He determines the actions, the habits needed to receive that happiness. Not every habit will cultivate this God-given happiness. You tracking with me? If we’re going to experience God’s joy for us, we need to do the things that God requires of us. We must develop and cultivate certain habits. Because God won’t be pleased if we do some things only a little bit of the time. God isn’t going to bless us with His happiness if we’re barely doing what He wants us to do.
Rather, we must train ourselves, we must cultivate certain habits so that they become second nature. And, when these practices become a habit, it won’t require much of us. We will just do them. That’s what a habit can do.
Now, before actually unveiling the habits, we want to give a general encouragement to you. As we go through these habits, there may be some triggers that cause guilt or shame to arise in your heart. You may feel like, “Oh my, I’m not doing any of these things. I’m a terrible person. Does God even love me?”
Hear us out: We don’t cultivate these habits because we need to earn God’s favor. We’re not trying to prove to God that we are deserving of His love. Not at all. Because the truth is that not a single one of is deserving of His love. He loves us, despite all our sins, our weakness, our brokenness, He loves us because that’s the kind of God He is.
So, instead of trying to earn His love, we cultivate these habits in response to His love. We engage in these practices out of our love for Him. They are acts of worship; they are in response to what Jesus has done for us.
Does that make sense?
Sisters and brothers, again, don’t hear me saying, “You are terrible and let me tell you why.” Instead, hear me as, “These are areas we all can and need to improve in. We must engage in these practices so that we may be filled with God’s happiness.”
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