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Friday, July 20, 2018 other day's devotionals

Today's Devotional Reading
The Threshold of Happiness

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Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you (Matthew 7:7).

One definition of "threshold" depicts a threshold as "an entrance or doorway," "the place or point of beginning". It is a word that is used often to describe a starting point. Perhaps it's most familiar use is in relation to an old custom whereby the groom would carry his bride over the threshold (doorway) of the new couples home--signifying a beginning as man and wife. It is perhaps a place as well where there is great anticipation and hope-filled thinking. Certainly that is often the case with newly weds, isn't it? It seems to be a place or situation wherein those who enter believe they will find happiness.
But what is happiness? To look again to the dictionary, we will find several varying definitions of the word. Yet the one which seems to start them off is in relation to happenstance. At the root of both words, "happiness," and "happenstance" we find a commonality within the word "hap," which within its very definition eludes once again to circumstances that are favorable or fortunate, and completely by chance.
So the threshold of happiness is a place wherein there are great expectations for fortunate and favorable chance happenings to occur--providing we play our cards right or hold our heads just right or cross our fingers or. . . Whatever the case may be, it is as though we often see our direction as coincidental and the good things that come our way as mere chance within our situations we face. If you don't think so, consider how we act when things are going really well, and in such a way that it is something that is making us happy, and watch what you do. Such situations often bring with them the anxiety as we begin to think that somehow we won't be able to maintain the circumstances as they are in order to keep ourselves in the current state of happiness. Something comes along (happenstance) that we really like and we begin to worry that it will soon be gone.
As we seek to maintain happiness, we may see that we have one major problem: we believe it to be based on events and circumstances. And so we will work to bring about circumstances that we know will make us feel as though we are happy. The problem is that such happiness is fleeting--it does not last long, and is seldom what we really expect it to be.
But God did not want our joy to be built on happenstance, good fortune or favorable circumstance. And He did not set us on a path wherein we are to be solemnly righteous, only to stumble upon enjoyable circumstances if we are lucky. Instead, God has provided to us a way to find real joy within our lives that is constant regardless of our circumstances--a joy that is not determined by chance happenings. This joy is not found through wishful thinking as we cross thresholds to happiness, but it is found as we seek a definite direction in how we will live and how we will follow the will of God for our lives.
The pursuit of happiness will yield some happiness, but that happiness will be fleeting. The things we think will make us happy are often not what we had expected and often leave us wanting. But as we ask God according to His will, and seek His will to be done, and then knock as to put His will into action, what we will discover is greater than any accidental momentary feel good--it will be a joy that transcends all understanding, as we find the true happiness within God's will--and not blind fate.

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