Sent: Wednesday, October 10, 2001

Subject: Happiness

Dear Emily & Ethan:

I am finishing up my morning time of mediation and Bible study, and I wanted to share several of my favorite passages with you..

Everyone is looking for happiness today.  In Ps. 119:56, the Psalmist has the answer: “This is my happy way of life: obeying your commandments.”  In fact, the Psalms are full of passages that describe such happiness:  “Happy are those who obey His decrees and search for Him with all their hearts. (Ps. 119:2).   “Happy are those who fear the Lord.  Yes, happy are those who delight in doing what He commands.” (Ps. 112:1)

All of us want God’s blessings, but few are willing to do what needs to be done to experience these blessings:  “Lord, you are mine!  I promise to obey your words!  With all my heart I want your blessings.” (Ps. 119 57-58)

And then further in this passage, I find this advice very helpful and have faced the consequences at times earlier in my life when avoided…and have always found blessing and victory when heeded:  “I will hurry, WITHOUT LINGERING, to obey your commands.  Evil people try to drag me into sin, but I am firmly anchored to your law.”  The “without lingering” is so critical and requires a conscious choice.  Never hesitate to obey and you will be blessed….just do what is right!  In fact, Ps. 119:32 says we should “run” to follow God’s commands.  Good advice.

Yes, obedience requires a conscious decision and determination on our part…it doesn’t just happen.  Several of my favorite passages are: “Stand by to help me(Lord), for I have CHOSEN to follow your commandments.” (Ps. 119:173)  “I have CHOSEN to be faithful; I have DETERMINED to live by your laws.  I CLING to your decrees….I will RUN to follow your commands.” (Ps. 119:30-32).

As you can see, I think Ps. 119 is one of the key chapters in all the Bible, as it gives such good advice on how to have a happy and successful life.

Have a great day…