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Our children have developed the photo opportunity quip where the photographer says: “Look happy!” instead of the usual “Say cheese!” Normally, I can look fairly happy if I try hard enough, but the Lord asks of us to BE happy and this isn’t all that easy. This is going to be a journey of a lifetime.

I found it helpful to discover that I don’t have to be happy about or as a result of my circumstances, but rather because I know that my Lord has promised in his Word that He would never leave me or forsake me – Hebrews 13:5b. I can rejoice about the promise of a Messiah becoming reality, rejoice with angels about his birth, be thankful for his sacrifice on the cross, be jubilant over his resurrection and ascension and especially about the fact that I have a High Priest who intercedes for me with the Father – and that I have a Bridegroom who is looking forward to come and fetch me.

It is this Messiah who said to his followers: “Peace I leave with you; My own peace I – now – give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. – Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.” -Amplified Bible, Classic Edition

Our world has been turned upside down, we find ourselves in uncharted waters with the Covid-19 pandemic. As a Christian I can make a difference by handling the frustrations and irritations of lockdown with peace and joy. When confronted with the shortcomings and mistakes of my fellow ‘locked-ins’ I can choose to either overlook it with loving tolerance or address it with loving respect.

I can choose to ask and trust the Holy Spirit to be in control of my life so that I can bring the bountiful gift of joy – Galatians 5:22-23 – into my home where stress and irritations might seem to be taking over.

“Be happy – in your faith – and rejoice and be glad-hearted continually – always.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16 – Amplified Bible, Classic Edition.

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