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Are you happy? We get asked this question very many times. When we think about being happy, we recognize that the word is derived from happenings. So my happiness many times depends on what’s happening to me. That means that if things aren’t going my way or things are negative I may not be happy. In fact, I may find myself very sad based on my happenings. So my life can be like a roller coaster. Good things happen to me and I’m up; bad things happen to me and I’m down. This would mean that my whole life is governed by my circumstances. You get a new car and you’re happy. You get up the next morning and the tire is flat, you’re sad. Someone says something good about me, I’m happy. Someone says something bad about me, I’m sad. In this type of existence, my life is nothing more than the waves of the sea tossed too and fro. There must be something more consistent than just being happy or sad. If there can only be a presence in my life that is consistently for me and not against me, that would make a huge difference. If I could find a love that never changes, that would make a huge difference. I believe that’s what the Gospel of Jesus Christ offers.
Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Jesus was preparing the disciples at this time for the coming of the Holy Spirit to abide in their hearts. His peace was connected to the presence of the Holy Spirit. The peace of God, which is a fruit of the Spirit, is not based on what happens to me, but it is the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit in my heart. The apostle Paul said, “I’ve learned to be content in whatever situation I find myself.” The Holy Spirit connects us to the eternal and sets us free from the temporary. Peace then is not the absence of turmoil but the presence of God ruling in the midst of that turmoil. When Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength,” this is what he was talking about. Peace as a fruit of the Holy Spirit ruling in whatever circumstance he found himself in. Happiness is connected to what happens to me, whereas the peace of God is connected to the eternal Holy Spirit. I like to say the Holy Spirit is the shock absorber of the believers’ life. The believer can live in the atmosphere of heaven in the midst of a toxic world. Let the peace of God rule in your heart today.