Be happy while you’re living, for you’re a long time dead! – Scottish Proverb
“Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the LORD, the shield of your help and the sword of your majesty!” Deuteronomy 33:29
I have always been so thankful that my happiness in life has not been dependent upon the fruits of my ministry but in the faithfulness of my Master! Remember when the disciples came back from a ministry trip so excited about what they had accomplished but Jesus said to them, “Rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven: (Luke 10:20). It is great to be used of God in ministry but we are not to rejoice, or be happy, because of what we do, but what we have in Him. In essence, Jesus was saying, “Don’t rejoice in the powers given to you by me, but in your position you have in me.” Someday we may no longer have the ability to even serve the Lord, and if that is where our happiness is, then there will be no happiness. But if our happiness is in the fact that He belongs to us and we belong to Him, then, even in the most dismal of hours, we can rejoice and be happy.
Deuteronomy chapter thirty-three is one of my favorites in all the Bible. It contains Moses’s blessings upon the tribes as he concludes his years of service to the Lord. Rather than focusing on the past, he focused on the future and how each of the tribes would have a distinct ministry among their people. Verse twenty-five emphasizes that God would be with them day by day giving to them the strength that they might need for difficult times. In blessing his people before his death, Moses reminds them why they should be happy regardless of the circumstances they might face in the days ahead. They are good reminders for us also, for I know that we can have a tendency to become “short-sighted” in doing the work of the Lord.
We should be happy because….
We are in His heart – the place of affection: Vs 3 “He loves the people” (Ephesians 5:25; Galatians 2:10)
We are in His hand – the place of security: vs. 3 “All His saints are in Your hand” (John 10:28-29; Isa. 49:15:16)
We are at His feet – the place of instruction: vs. 3 “They sit down at Your feet” (Luke 10:38-42)
We are by His side – the place of fellowship: vs. 12 “The beloved of the LORD shall dwell in safety by Him” (Psalm 91 :1)
We are on His shoulders – the place of strength: vs. 12 “And he shall dwell between His shoulders” (Luke 15:5 – lost sheep)
We are in His arms – the place of rest: vs. 27 “The eternal God is your refuge , and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Isaiah 40:11)
We are satisfied – the place beyond which it is impossible to go: vs. 23 “ …. satisfied with favor, and full of the blessing of the LORD” (Psa. 107:9)
Yes, the last words of Moses to his people before his death are also good words for us. We can be happy regardless of the circumstances. Maybe today you are looking to the Lord from the valley, or maybe you are looking to Him from the mountaintop. Either way, you can be happy for we will always be In His heart, In His hand, on His shoulders, and in His arms, therefore we must remain at His feet, and by His side. If we do, we will always be satisfied!
“Happy is that people whose God is the Lord.” Psalm 144: 15
— Maynard H. Belt