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Vol.  10  No. 1 January 2008  Page 13
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Priscilla's Page By Marilyn LaStrape *Editor's Note*

Julene NulphS-M-I-L-E

By Julene Nulph

    Have you ever greeted a person with a happy, “Good morning!” and received the snide reply, “What’s good about it?!” It seems such a shame to me that a person would be so unhappy as to reflect such a dismal attitude. It is true that life does have its trials and disappointments, yet it’s also true that we as Christians serve a trustworthy God. He’s someone on whom we can count! God never makes a promise that He won’t be sure to keep, and He promises to take care of us (cf. Matthew 6:25-34). There are many things in the world that promise they will make one happy and fill one with joy. However, it doesn’t take long to discover that the so-called joy is shallow and superficial, and it often leaves a person hurting and alone. Most people are seeking to live a happy life. If a person is looking for real happiness, he can find it simply with a S-M-I-L-E.

    S- Spend time with the saints (cf. Hebrews 10:25). Christian fellowship is such a vital ingredient in a life of happiness. God created us and He, therefore, knows how we humans operate. He set up His church in a manner that we get together with others of the faith. We need other people. We need fellowship to communicate our feelings, share our sorrows, share our joys, ask for prayers and get help with our questions. In spending time with the saints, we find human companionship and strengthen our faith (cf. Philippians 1:3-5).

    M- Make prayer a priority (cf. Philippians 4:6-7). We all have such busy schedules, and there are always deadlines to meet and work that needs to be done. Nevertheless our daily prayer time to God is essential to having real happiness inside. We must not get so busy on earth that we forget spiritual nourishment. Refuse to let other things squeeze out your daily prayer time! It’s true you’ll have a better, often more productive, day when you make prayer a priority!

    I- Include Bible study in your daily schedule (2 Timothy 2:15). When one reads the inspired Word of God, really studies the message and works at understanding and applying these pearls of Truth, happiness is the result. We read in Hosea 4:6 that a lack of knowledge destroys. To remain happy, we must keep our faith strong, and we do that by studying our Bibles daily (cf. Romans 10:17). The Bible is spiritual food (cf. 1 Peter 2:1-2), so include Bible study in your daily schedule!

    L- Let God take care of it (cf. Proverbs 3:5-6). We need to trust that God can and will handle the situation, no matter through what we are going. God knows what we need, and He will not forsake His children (cf. Matthew 6:25-34; Psalm 37:25). When we are carrying a burden or are in the midst of one of life’s trials, we often feel we need to control what is happening and control the future. Then, we find ourselves with chest pain and grief. Happiness will be the result when “All to Jesus I surrender.”

    E- Encourage others (cf. Hebrews 10:24-25). Encouraging someone can be done in a number of ways. Such methods include: visiting a lonely person, taking food to one who is in need, sending a note of encouragement by email or postal service, encouraging a wayward member of the church to return, helping a child who does not have a stable home environment, giving one a ride to an appointment, to the grocery store or to worship services. The list of ways to encourage others is nearly endless. When a person spends his or her time encouraging others, it makes one’s heart fill with happiness. Encouraging others is reciprocal with both the giver and receiver receiving a true blessing of happiness.

    The pressures and disappointments of everyday life can have a way of robbing one of happiness. However, by remembering to S-M-I-L-E, a true and lasting happiness can be obtained.

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