I’m not quite up to my usual energy levels after last week’s illness, but I know I promised I’d embark on a series about the “oil of gladness” mentioned in Psalm 45:7 and Isaiah 61:3, so I’ll try to muddle my way through the first post and get the ball rolling!
One of the things I’m glad about is that I’m still alive! I know that may sound silly, but bear with me. There is a sort of depression, whether extreme or subtle, that can creep up on us and rob us of the joy of living. That nagging sense that my life is all out of whack, that nothing really matters, that everything is just a little bleak around the edges. Certainly it’s possible to find moments of pleasure in the midst of all that, and I’m not necessarily talking about a suicidal mood — although certainly prolonged periods of gripping depression can edge dangerously towards that.
The question is one of quality. As a Christian, I’m called to a higher state of being than simply “going through the motions” and seeing one dreary day of drudgery pass by after another. If being in a love relationship with the Creator of the universe and the Savior of my soul is not enough to stave off weariness and frustration, than something’s seriously amiss. Frankly, I don’t buy the oft-spoken axiom that happiness is a fleeting emotion and we shouldn’t bother chasing after it. Balderdash! I absolutely want to be happy, and I believe that Jesus wants me to be happy. But perhaps happiness isn’t what we think it is.
I’ll define happiness this way: I know who I am, I know Who loves me and I love Him back, I know what I’m supposed to be doing, and I’m doing it. Following after that God-given sense of purpose and direction, no matter the odds, no matter the cost, no matter the hardships that might come along with the territory, that’s what brings true happiness. That’s what makes you glad to be alive!
God wants to anoint each of us with the oil of gladness. We were never meant to live in a world of dull gray. We were meant to live in a world of radiant technicolor, full of excitement, danger, adventure, romance, and creativity. Chase after this mighty, awesome God, and let Him fill you with His joy, His pleasure, and His gladness today and every day!