Friday, January 15, 2010

Thinking Yourself Happy

Last night before bath time, Gracie asked if she could take a shower. Knowing she once tried to take a shower and she lasted all of 10 seconds, I reminded her of her last attempt. "But momma, I just want to try it again. Please?" she begged. I consented and explained to her how to take a shower. She stepped in and took it from there. "When you get finished, let me know," I yelled through the door. "I'll help you get out." Gracie yelled back, "I'm finished, mom. But I want to stay in here alittle longer and sing!" So, Gracie commenced to singing in the shower. Gracie's melodies reminded me of the importance of being happy.

Think about the Apostle Paul. He was snake bitten, shipwrecked, beaten, or in the middle of prison and he would probably say, "I feel like singing now because Jesus is in my heart and I'm counting on God." How would you like to have been chained to Paul for a year? Paul wasn't some lonely, confused, bitter preacher.

If you read about Paul's presentation in the king's court, you'll see what I mean. King Agrippa, his sister Bernice, Governor Festus and all of the military leaders, lawyers and other important people were there when Paul came in. They wanted to make fun of him, but you can't make fun of a happy man. Paul probably had the least reason to be jovial of anybody in that whole crowd. Standing around him were people who had power and money, fame and prestige but Paul says to King Agrippa, "Oh, king, I think myself happy." (Acts 26:2)

Paul told them all about how Jesus Christ came to earth, was crucified, rose from the dead and is alive. Before it was over, I can just imagine King Agrippa shaking from conviction. The kind said in verse 28, "Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian." I think that's one of the saddest stories in the Bible because as far as we know, the king never accepted Christ and found the unspeakable joy that Paul had. Although he heard testimony from one of the best preachers other than Jesus himself, the king was more concerned with what his friends thought. King Agrippa died a poor, broken man.

One translation of Acts 26:2 puts it this way, "I have been congratulating myself". I don't think Paul was boasting of who he was in the flesh. Paul was boasting of what God had accomplished for him through Christ. Paul was bragging on redemption.

It reminds me of a song we sang in church Sunday:
Joy unspeakable that won't go away
Just enough strength to live for today
So I never have to worry what tomorrow may bring
Cause my faith is on solid rock, I'm counting on God
I'm counting on, I'm counting on God!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU, BARBIE!!!! Today is my birthday, and I just found this message! I was gathering all Mass readings and scriptures I could find for today so that I can pray the scriptures post of my birthday throughout the year. What an appropriate message this is for me today. I know God gave you this message JUST FOR ME! I already had a fabulous day, but this makes the end of it extra special1!