The Serenity Prayer column is published on the first Friday of each month in 2019. We’re studying this well-known prayer phrase by phrase and applying it to our life today.
” God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, accepting hardship as a pathway to peace.
Taking as Christ did this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it. Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His will.
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life…”
Let me begin by saying this is an area where I struggle, not every day, but often enough. I don’t want to come off as someone who has this all figured out. Because I definitely don’t. I’m in a life learning process just like you.
While we can be sure that God is going to take care of us each day, Scripture never promises us an easy life. In fact, Jesus tells us to expect troubled times.
How can I be reasonably happy in a life that’s often filled with difficulties?
The key word here is “reasonably” which by definition means: moderately. So to be moderately happy, is to be in the middle, not excessively happy or excessively sad; balanced.
Most of us want to live on the mountaintop, in the exciting times of life. But life is filled with peaks and valleys. Life is balanced with happy and sad times.
There is a time for everything,
and everything on earth has its special season.
There is a time to be born
and a time to die.
There is a time to plant
and a time to pull up plants.
There is a time to kill
and a time to heal.
There is a time to destroy
and a time to build.
There is a time to cry
and a time to laugh.
There is a time to be sad
and a time to dance.
There is a time to throw away stones
and a time to gather them.
There is a time to hug
and a time not to hug.
There is a time to look for something
and a time to stop looking for it.
There is a time to keep things
and a time to throw things away.
There is a time to tear apart
and a time to sew together.
There is a time to be silent
and a time to speak.
There is a time to love
and a time to hate.
There is a time for war
and a time for peace. ~ Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
We must also consider that happiness is related to happenings. Where as joy is a deeper emotion that is available to us even when outward circumstances may warrant different reactions. True joy is not about situations but rather a spiritual component. The Bible tell us that joy is a fruit, a by product, of the Holy Spirit’s work in our life.
The secret to being REASONABLY HAPPY lies in The Serenity Prayer itself…
- SERENITY comes when we accept the things we cannot change.
- COURAGE comes when we step out to change the things we can.
- WISDOM comes as we seek God’s guidance.
- LIVING each day as it comes, pressing forward step by step.
- ENJOYING each moment as if it were our last.
- ACCEPTING that hardships will lead me to the Prince of Peace.
- TAKING the world as it is because I can’t change it or other people.
- IT’S NOT MY WORLD to change but God’s in His perfect timing.
- TRUSTING GOD will make everything turn out for good in His plan.
- SURRENDERING my will to God’s perfect will and purpose.
As we purposely walk out these steps of The Serenity Prayer we will begin to experience the reasonable happiness that God has for us.