We all want to be successful. We want contentment in our daily lives; in both the mundane and unexpected happenings of our personal worlds. We want to be happy. We want to live in hope. We like to imagine our dreams coming true. We want peace to permeate our days even in the midst of troublesome and somber moments. Perhaps we wish God would give us a formula for all of the above to become reality. Good news! He has already done that very thing. Let’s take a look at it.
“Study the Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in everything you do.” Joshua 1:8
So often, when we read God’s Word, we mistakingly interpret its meaning with physical understanding rather than with spiritual insight. God cares about our physical needs. He knows we must eat, have shelter, clothing, and rest. He loves providing what we need and often blesses us with abundance above what is minimally required. Even so, there are hardships we face and endure in our physical worlds. We read verses like that above and mistakingly interpret “prosper and succeed” to mean earthly riches, but God is offering us so much more. Gold and silver can pass away but His blessings of peace and joy are never ending.
Paul and Silas knew great joy and peace even after being falsely arrested, severely beaten on their bare backs with wooden rods, and chained in a darkened dungeon. In fact, the story is recorded in Acts 16, that they were heard to be singing and praising God. What? In such a moment? How could they do this? They knew the secret of Joshua 1:8.
We are encouraged to take time everyday to truly “study” God’s Word, meaning not just read it, but do as the above verse instructs, “meditate on it day and night.” Then, make a resolute promise to, “obey everything in it.” You see, when we study, meditate and obey, we are then filled, not with just a human happiness and peace which we can all know, but we are filled with holy joy and peace that only comes from God. This joy and peace keeps us filled with hope in dismal moments. This joy keeps dreams alive when it seems impossible. This joy flows with peace in the midst of troubling times. This is God’s formula for happiness.