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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : features : religion August 27, 2015


2/16/2012 1:03:00 PM
This week at Grace Lutheran
Deacon Gary Henze
Grace Community Lutheran Church

Grace Community Lutheran Church, 5100 Stevenson, Rimrock, has Sunday Service at 10:30 a.m. For more information, call (928) 567-4608 or (928) 710-5880.

In the roller coaster patterns of our lives we all experience times of happiness and times of sadness. The degree to which we are happy and sad in our lives is very much affected by our life conditioning and upbringing.

Through these experiences, from childhood on, we developed the feelings and values of what is important to be happy. We have basic needs, like food and shelter and it grows on from there to include things like companionship and love. Adding to that list as we mature is the understanding that sharing love also brings happiness.

The world being what it is, all to often these needs are unmet and we have those sad, unhappy times.

Most often in the Christian life, it is during these difficult times that we turn to God to help us become happy again. God, please take away the source of my unhappiness is the nature of our prayer. While this is good, God has told us to pray in and for every need, I think there is something important we should see in our seeking of happiness. As we pray to God for help or relief, all to often we seek only earthly or material things. The very things our conditioning or upbringing has taught us we need to be happy. This is the point where I could point out that this is not the best way to have a relationship with God, and while that is true I want to look at this way of being, in a slightly different but very important way.

What if instead of only asking God to change the things in our lives that are bringing our sadness, we were able to include in our understanding of happiness the simple fact that we have God in our lives.

Understanding that God, the creator of the universe, has sent His one and only Son to suffer and die for us should be a source of happiness for us.

There is a deep need in every human to have that relationship with God restored. And we now have that.

The material world may be a mess, but we, if we choose to believe so, we are now are reconnected to the source of eternal happiness. The cost to God to do this for us was Jesus on the cross. That should matter in our hearts.

So as we negotiate our lives, remember you are a beloved child of God and use that fact as something to be happy about. In those times of our lives where God is allowing us to grow, and we see only reasons to be unhappy, stop for a moment and understand that we have a sure and certain reason to be eternally happy.

My hope and prayer for all of us is that as we go through life, we always have at the center of our feelings, an understanding of what God has done for us through Jesus, and that this understanding outweighs all the other temporary events in our lives.


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