Part of the retirement process when leaving the military is to make sure that one’s physical maladies or challenges are all reviewed by the Veterans Administration to determine if the veteran may be owed compensation. I had to undergo a battery of tests to see if past injuries or problems with my Achilles tendon, ankles, knees, hips, lower back, shoulder, hearing, sinuses, hair loss and sleep deprivation were service-related. I was asked all kinds of personal questions by the sleep psych0logist I met with to see if anxiety, depression, any kind of drug or chemical addiction etc. were preventing me from falling asleep. I mentioned multiple times that my problem getting to sleep is lifelong and has to do with an overactive brain that does not shut off easily. I assured her that even though it is a battle for me to rest, I am mostly full of joy and did not blame the military for my condition. I don’t think she was expecting that answer.
Jeremiah 31:13—Then the young woman will rejoice with dancing, while young and old men rejoice together. I will turn their mourning into joy, give them consolation, and bring happiness out of grief.
Jeremiah 31 is a chapter where Jeremiah relates to his countrymen the tremendous love God has for them and His plan to restore them from exile. God said to them, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have continued to extend faithful love to you” (31:3b). His intent was to return them physically and spiritually from mourning to a place of satisfaction with His goodness. We rightfully could call this a state of bliss.
The dictionary defines bliss as “supreme happiness; utter joy or contentment: the joy of heaven; paradise.” The antonym for bliss is misery. We miss bliss because too often we let our circumstances define our attitude. I can lose sleep and choose to be irritable or I can thank God for the freedom and blessing of having a safe bed to rest upon. Pain is not the killer of joy. It is our attitude towards pain that determines our state. Therefore, we canjoin the band Delirious in singing The Happy Song while camped in the valley of desolation.
We reach bliss by shifting our focus to the certainty of God’s presence and promises. The beauty in knowing God is the profound realization that His love supersedes all else. Nothing can give us joy or happiness like trusting that love. So let the chills flow down your arms. Let your heart bask in the warmth that just as God would bring the Jews back to their own land He will do the same for us. He will take us from sin-bondage land to redemption land. He will replace our broken-down bodies. One day soon we will experience supreme happiness in the very presence of our Almighty God surrounded by an incredible chorus of those who like us realize His awesomeness in perfect worship. Something to think about . . . in reveration!
Bliss is the prerogative of the saint.—W.E. Sangster in Daily Readings
©2018 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)