How many time have you heard someone say, “I just want to be Happy, or perhaps you have said that yourself. Everyone wants to be happy, but very few people, even born again Christians, really enjoy true happiness. Yes, it is true that joy, not happiness, is named as a fruit of the Spirit, but it is also true that happiness is a fruit that must be rooted in joy. Jesus wants all of his children to enjoy abundant lives (John 101:10), so why are so many people stessed, worried, and searching for happiness?
Over the next three weeks we will look at three major obstacles that hinder your peace and happiness, but let’s begin with the Law! Paul wrote to Timothy, “The Law is good if one uses it lawfully, realizing the fact that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners” (1 Timothy 1:8-9). As a born again believer, you were purchased by the blood of Jesus, and spiritually speaking you now live under the new and better Covenant of Grace.
Listen to the words of Jesus: “Until John (John the Baptist) the Law and the Prophets were proclaimed, but since then the gospel of the Kingdom of God is preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it” (Luke 16:16). Another way of saying this is simply, “Many people are still trying to please God and gain entrance into His Kingdom by keeping the Law” (works). That was true the day Jesus said those words and it is still true today. Jesus gave this warning, “Neither do you put new wine into old wineskins” (Marr. 9:17). He is talking about the two covenants of Law and Grace and warning us to not mix the two. So the question now arises, are you living under the OLd Covenant of Law or the New Covenant of Grace, or both?
How can you know? You can know because the Law always brings condemnation, guilt, and a sense of unworthiness. Grace always brings confirmation of righteousness and freedom. The Covenant of Grace that was birthed at the Cross brought an end to the enmity between God and man. Therefore,Satan knows that he can no longer accuse you to the Father, so he now attempts to attack your mind. When you find yourself worrying and thinking on negatives, you can be certain that it is your enemy looking for a place to pitch his tent. That ploy works especially well on those who don’t know that “there is now no condemnation in those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1). Show him the door, kick him out, and begin speaking the promises of God over your life. Remind him and yourself that you are a new creation, the temple of the Holy Spirit, bought and paid for with the blood of Christ.
Finally, stop trying to please God with your performance and receive the fullness of His Grace. Your High Priest, Jesus, has decreed you “Not Guilty” to your heavenly Father. No wonder the “Joy of the Lord is our strength!” Begin proclaiming what the Word says, “I am the Righteousness of Christ Jesus” (11 Cor. 5:21). Attempting to please God by your doing is a dead end road. He is already pleased with you because you chose to make His Son Jesus Lord of your life. It is worth repeating, the joy of the Lord is your strength, your healing, your prosperity, and your happiness.
Next week we will look at another major hindrance,your Faith!