Monday, November 30, 2009

week nine.

before i share the things that caught my eye during last week's lessons, let me fill you in on ashley, my awesome co-writer. due to computer|blogger malfunctions, she is currently unable to post anything here. i'm sure she wishes you all a happy week of study. we know that God's timing is perfect and He has a plan for this faulty situation, but at the same time i will pray for her hasty return.

my notebook on chapter 8.
01. one important reason to establish a morning prayer time is that it better enables us to handle whatever concerns our day holds. if we allow Him, God will prepare our minds for the challenges and opportunities that will pop up throughout the day. if we take time to surrender our day to God and focus our thoughts on the truths in His Word, we will be more likely to react to situations by the Holy Spirit's leading rather than our own impulse.

psalm 143.8 'let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for i have put my trust in You. show me the way i should go, for to you i lift up my soul.'

02. in esther 8.16, we are told that 'for the jews, it was a time of happiness and joy, gladness and honor.' here, beth pointed out the appropriateness of seizing a happy moment, and i realized that i have been thinking wrongly about happiness.

ever since i learned the meaning of joy, which we will be getting into with our next study on the fruit of the Spirit, i have dismissed happiness as something superficial. beth says, 'we often speak of happiness as a less noble term than joyfulness because the former is circumstantial and the latter less conditional.' i don't argue with that, and i do think that to have joy is infinitely better than having happiness, but my eyes were opened this morning to the fact that a God-given time of happiness should not be overlooked. we can praise Him for the ability to truly feel His work and blessings when we feel happy.

fundamentally speaking..
a. it is unwise to live for things that will make us happy, but it would be foolish to disregard the happy times as not being a gift from the Lord.
b. it is wise to remember that God is good and glorious through both happy times and sad and He is always ultimately working for our good.

ecclesiastes 7.14 'when times are good, be happy; but when times are bad consider: God has made the one as well as the other.'

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