Today is an unusual day in south Louisiana and the Gulf Coast. Actually, it’s not unusual to us at all, but it should be unusual to people around the country and over the world who read this blog.
Today is what we call Mardi Gras day or “Fat Tuesday.” It’s called that because among Roman Catholics and many others it is a day to feast before the fast of Lent.
Today in New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast (Mobile, Alabama, boasts of having begun Mardi Gras) school is out, parades are rolling, and people are generally in a carefree, festive mood.
Isn’t it amazing how we long for happiness in our lives? Sometimes it seems we simply live for one special event after another. For example, Sunday was the Super Bowl, a new holiday in America. People ate and drank and watched the game. Did it make us happy?
Will Mardi Gras make us happy?
The statistics tell us that it won’t. It might take our mind off our worries and troubles for a few hours, but nothing can really make us happy.
Happiness refers to what is “happening” to us right now. Therefore, if we are at a parade or participating in a Super Bowl party, supposedly we are happy. If the worries of life have weighed us down, supposedly we are unhappy.
Isn’t there a better way to do this? Is there something that could make a real difference in our lives?
Jesus told us that he had come to give us life – – abundant life.
When Saul of Tarsus saw the risen Jesus, he experienced a total life change. When he talked about it later, he described the fruit of God’s Spirit in his life: “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, . . . (Galatians 5:22–23).
Happiness is hard to attain, but joy and peace are free to all who surrender their lives to God and trust Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
The joy that comes in Christ does not depend on what happens to you today; it is totally dependent on God Himself who created you and made you for fellowship with Him.
Many people have described how elusive happiness is. The more we chase it the less we have it. When we quit chasing happiness and start simply putting ourselves in the hands of God, we begin to experience unending joy and peace in our lives.
The choice seems to go something like this: you can have “happiness” for a short time, maybe an hour or a day, or you can have joy and peace for all eternity.
The choice really doesn’t seem hard, but it is. It’s hard because it takes a willingness to put our pride and selfishness behind us and to yield ourselves to Jesus Christ.
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