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Your life is the sum result of all the choices you make…If you can control the process of choosing, you can take control of all aspects of your life (Bob Bennett, US Senator)

We know that we cannot control all aspects of our life because we are stuck with the body we inherit, the physical world we inhabit and the vagaries of the events that swirl around us. But we can take control by choosing how we react to the circumstances we face. Every day when we wake up, we get to choose what kind of a day we want to have. Some people wake up “on the wrong side of the bed,” and everyone around them soon can see that their choice is to be miserable. Others decide to wake up happy and share their joy with all they meet. We can choose to repeat the words of the Psalmist as we wake up when he said, “This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it,” or we can moan, “another day older and deeper in debt.”

There are some people who actually seem to believe that misery is next to godliness and the more miserable they become the more godly they are. Now it is true that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God and that we have inherited a body that is so prone to sin that Paul lamented, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” However, we also know that “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” God has made it plain that He would have His children to be happy in a godly way. Paul tells us, “Rejoice in the Lord always.” Even in a time of calamity, the prophet Habakkuk declared, “yet will I rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.”

We need to count our blessings and rejoice in the Lord. In the Psalms we read, “Happy is he that has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God,” and “Happy is that people, whose God is the LORD.” If we truly worship our God, we should be happy. All around us, we find people whose god is money and the good life and whose choices in life all center on getting more and having fun. Paul comments, “You cannot fool God, so don’t make a fool of yourself! You will harvest what you plant. If you follow your selfish desires, you will harvest destruction, but if you follow the Spirit, you will harvest eternal life.” We should be thankful that we are different from those self-centered godless people around us, and we need to make sure that we really are different.

Moses warned the children of Israel as he drew near to the end of his life. He said: “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Therefore choose life, that both you and your offspring may live, by loving the Lord your God, by obeying his voice, and by cleaving unto him: for he is your life, and the length of your days.” Joshua gave the people of his day a similar charge, and they answered, “The LORD our God we will serve, and his voice we will obey.” Our answer should be the same as theirs. They said the right words but they did not long remember them, for soon we read that every man was doing that which was right in his own eyes.

Real happiness can be ours right now by choosing to serve the Lord and rejoicing in the hope that He has given us. It’s our choice. Neither God, nor Moses nor Joshua, forced others to make the right choice, although they certainly encouraged them to do so. We can choose to perish with the wicked, or we can make the right choice and serve the Lord our God with all our heart. If we do this, then God will be for us and who then can be against us?

We cannot control many of the things we have to deal with in our lives, but we can choose our attitude and what we do about them. As the senator commented, our life is summed up by these choices. All down through the ages mankind has been given this type of free choice. In the garden of Eden man and woman faced their first moral decision, and we know they made the wrong choice. True happiness comes from courageously making the right choices. Let us wake up every morning deciding to serve and obey our God and rejoicing that we have made the right choice. Then we will be among those who share the joy of “our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then we can say to all the heathen around us, The LORD hath done great things for us. The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.”

Robert J. Lloyd

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