Happy New Year!

A familiar refrain we hear this time of the year, but can we assure the year to come will be happy? Happiness has been elusive throughout the last few years.  How can we assure that no matter what the circumstances the New Year brings we will be happy? Maybe happiness isn’t what we are searching for. Maybe the answer is more than a result of the events that happen around us. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Our perception of a situation is different from someone else’s. Most times we don’t see or don’t understand all the effects of our actions. We can look at the events we are currently dealing with and see that every day something unforeseen happens and the direction forward takes on new twists and turns. My hope is that in 2022 we would finally get a handle on this and have a good plan to move forward with.

It is like an on-track incident. When we listen to the interviews, we hear the different views of what took place. Each driver has their take on what took place. Each one saw things from a different perspective. If we follow along, we sometimes can determine the one event that triggered the incident. It starts something like this; “I thought I could” or “I had the position but”. We think we can predict the results of our choices but many times the results are not what we would expect.

Did you ever wonder why we need officials at races? They are the ones whose perception counts. They are the ones who decide what really happened. They are responsible to make an accurate and just decision. I wonder though, who has the final say in decisions we make in our life? Whose opinion do we listen to?

What does this have to do with being happy? Not much really, because happiness is conditional, what we should desire is contentment regardless of circumstances. Then we will have the peace and joy that comes from God. When we chase happiness we are chasing after the wind.

Think of it this way, when we understand that the results of our decisions affect more than just us our perspective changes. When we realize that things don’t revolve around us, we begin to understand that the decisions we make should take others into consideration. When we consider the condition of others we start to see things through God’s eyes. Lasting satisfaction and fulfillment are a direct result of how we affect the lives of others.

We think however that our happiness is a direct result of the things we do and have. We live much of our lives focused on what affects us. That doesn’t lead to happiness, it leads to frustration, envy, jealousy and discontent. You see the minute we attain something there is always something more to get. We never get there.

Philippians 2:1-5: If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

Paul reminds us that our attitude should be the same as Christ’s. Think of Jesus, He came and sacrificed His life, not for what He received, but for what we received. I believe it pleased Him to give His life up for anyone who would believe in Him. His heart was at peace and He was filled with joy. Paul outlines it for us;

Philippians 2:6-8: (Jesus), being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross!

This seems contrary to our definition of happiness. How can you be suffering so and yet be “happy”?

Happiness for a Christian is defined differently than it is for others. Happiness is less a state of circumstances and more a condition of the heart. When our heart is in tune with God’s will we are filled with a peace that passes understanding and a joy that isn’t easily understood. The love of God in our lives demonstrated to others in the choices we make produces true satisfaction and fulfillment in our lives, it is said we are happy.

Paul helps us redefine our focus in life. We find the peace of God when we concentrate on the things that please God. Paul explained that being in God’s will was more important than having all the trappings the world has to offer.

Philippians 4:8-13: Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

We are programmed in life to think happiness comes from what we have. That is not true. Did you ever know someone who had everything they ever wanted? That is not possible because there is always something else we want. It seems we are never satisfied. We never have everything we want.

We think that we can satisfy ourselves by attaining things. We think happiness comes from having those things. The fact is that no matter what we have there is always something missing. Something only God can provide. No matter what we attain in life we are not satisfied until we ask Jesus into our heart. He is the only one who can fill the void that we try to fill with everything else. We can only receive that peace that passes understanding from God through Jesus.

So, when I say Happy New Year I mean, I hope you find the true meaning of life. I hope you realize where true satisfaction and fulfillment come from. I hope you find the saving grace of Jesus. God promises peace to those who trust in Him. Are we at peace? God fills our hearts with joy when we pursue His will. Happiness is a result of living the life that God has planned for us.

Make a New Year’s resolution that will change your life, resolve this year to submit to God’s will for your life. Let God have control and make every effort to let Him guide your thoughts and actions. Until next time, remember God loves you and Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing! God Bless. Remember, that your prayerful support and donations helps us continue this ministry. Thank You.

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