Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Season of Joy


 

 

A Season Of Joy

by Randy Robison



As we plunge into another holiday season, complete with obnoxious commercial distractions and endless debate about the appropriateness of religious symbolism, let’s not forget one simple truth: when we help others, we create happiness for ourselves and those we help. Whether it’s by serving a meal to hungry people, giving a new coat to one in need, or any other act of human kindness, Christmas is a wonderful time to demonstrate the love of Christ. As we do, we “rejoice” in the sense that we create joy, both for the giver and the recipient.

Helen Keller said, “Believe, when you are most unhappy, that there is something for you to do in the world. So long as you can sweeten another's pain, life is not in vain.”
Working to alleviate the suffering of others not only serves their needs, but it takes your focus off of yourself. It’s hard to complain about your problems when you’re personally involved with someone else’s problems. This shift in perspective should foster a sense of happiness.

The beauty of this path to happiness lies in its simplicity. All of us can help someone in some way. It just requires stepping outside of ourselves as we give time and effort to improve someone else’s life. No measure of service or sacrifice is too small.
It should be noted that helping others involves sympathy (compassion for someone) or empathy (sharing in their pain), but not a complete assumption of their burden. Psalm 55:22 says, "Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you..." (NAS) Jesus said, "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28, NAS)

                           Helping others means meeting some of their needs while pointing them to Jesus. We are clearly told to allow Jesus Christ to take our burdens. Taking others’ burdens can do more harm than good if we are not careful. We shouldn’t compound our own suffering with the suffering of others, but join with them in casting all of our cares upon Him. God can handle it; we cannot. Presuming that we can may invite additional and unnecessary hardship. It is only through obedience and an overflowing empowerment of the Holy Spirit that we can share in and alleviate the suffering of others without being overwhelmed by it.

One simple, but easily overlooked, way to help someone is through prayer. When people run out of practical options, they sometimes say, “All you can do is pray.” It’s treated as a last-ditch effort when our human ability fails. Even Christians fall into this trap because prayer deals with the unseen. It wars against “principalities and powers.” It focuses on changing people’s hearts and minds. But the natural human inclination is to measure effectiveness by immediate, visible results. So we consciously or unconsciously consider prayer an option only when we’re out of options. Still, it’s one of the most powerful forces in the world.

Praying for others always changes someone, but it’s not always the “someone” we expect. Whether the person for whom we pray responds as we wish is out of our control, but that doesn’t mean we should not pray. At the very least, our act of bringing another person’s concerns or condition before God changes us. As we take another’s burden to the Lord, He touches us as He takes that burden upon Himself. That touch is worth the experience of intercession. It’s an open invitation for God to bless us as we share His concern for someone He loves even more than we do.

Make this month a true season of joy – God’s joy. Pray for others and help them when you can. Then you will live out the truth that helping others is as much about finding God’s happiness for yourself as it is about impacting the life of someone else.

Randy Robison is the author of God Wants You To Be Happy (Harvest House).
You can follow his “happiness tweets” attwitter.com/jamesrrobison

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For me, there is no better way to end the day than watching the sun go down.
To see the evening sky change to the deep, golden blue...
the pinks, purples, and red or yellow or orange glow,
is one of the most fascinating of natural phenomena...
No two sunsets are ever the same.

On this Thanksgiving weekend, there was not a cloud in the sky.
In San Diego, the weather had been a glorious 84 degrees during the day...
It is Winter, however and once the sun set, the night air did turn chilly.

I've included some of my most recent sunset photographs.
These were made on 26 November at Sunset Beach, California.

The new moon was the bareset sliver of light. Once it rose high into the night sky,
the shadow of the full moon was completely visible,
and cast a gorgeous, otherworldly reflection across the ocean waves.

I pray that you will enjoy the wonderful Devotion, written by Randy Robison,
dedicated to the real reason for this Christmas Season.

I hope too that you will enjoy the beautiful sunset photographs.
{the small black spots in a lot of the photographs are surfers.. enjoying the evening surf}

....there are links at the end of the devotional if you'd like to share it....
these links will not share the photographs, if you would like to share the entire journal post  including the photographs, with your friends and family....
please use this link...

http://deborahflowersphotography.blogspot.com

just copy and past it into the body of your email, or text message.

I wish you a safe and Happy Christmas!

Please do not copy, print, or download the photographs, or remove the copyright logo.
Thank you



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2 comments:

  1. Love the sunsets Deborah I agree no two are ever the same. Welcome back to Southern California.
    Angie

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you so very much Angie. It's good to be back.
    xoxo

    ReplyDelete