Devotion of the Day

Happiness or Happen-ness?

The things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the Gospel.
Philippians 1:12

Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say, Rejoice.
Philippians 4:4

“WHICH HAPPENED” is not in the original, but the idea is. This world’s happiness should be spelled “happenness,” because it depends on what happens. Paul’s joy was not over the things which had happened unto him, things the world would call calamities. Yet he was happy because he knew that all things work together for good to the Christian. What men mean for evil God turns to good, as He did with Joseph.

So amidst all these adverse “happenings” Paul can write from prison, “Rejoice in the Lord, alway: and again I say, Rejoice.” What this world calls happiness is not what God calls joy. His joy is the bequest of a Man of sorrows acquainted with grief, made available to us by His death on a cross. It is a deep, strange joy that may fill the heart when eyes are filled with tears. It is a heavenly joy beyond the tyranny of what happens and whims of circumstance. It abides even when our feelings call us liars.

Thank God for “happiness – whatever happens.”

Devotion of the Day

Then Jesus Came

When the doors were shut…came Jesus…Came Jesus, the doors being shut.
John 20:19, 26.

Are you living behind closed doors bolted against some nameless dread or fear? Is it fear of man, fear of tomorrow, or some other hobgoblin that peers in the window of your soul? The Lord is with you. Not visibly as in this blessed account, but remember that He told Thomas on this same day. “Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” You can count on Him, for He promised to be with us all the days – all kinds of days.

No prison bars, no dungeon gates, no walls of blindness, deafness, no Patmos isles of loneliness can keep Him out. The doors being shut…comes Jesus! “He saw them toiling in rowing…and…he cometh unto them.” Our very distress is the reason for His approach! The very fact that the doors are shut challenges Him to enter!

There is only one door He will not enter – your unyielded heart. But open that door and He will come in. All other closed doors are to Him an invitation, not a barrier.

“Came Jesus…the doors being shut.”