Better is sorrow than laughter

web banner Ecclesiastes

In Ecclesiastes 7:3, it says “Better is sorrow than laughter, For by the sadness of the face the heart becometh better.” (Youngs Literal Translation).  The New American Standard Bible says “Sorrow is better than laughter, For when a face is sad a heart may be happy”.

I don’t believe that Solomon was saying that laughter was bad, for I love to laugh.  Even the Bible says in Proverbs that laughter is good for the soul  – “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” (Proverbs 17:22, NIV).  So why did Solomon use the word better to compare sorrow and laughter?  How often did laughter make you think about the meaning of life, or life’s priorities?  Solomon is not condemning happiness, rather I think he is saying, that for a season of sadness it is better than to laugh because it causes a deeper awakening and love of God.  It causes us to search our hearts, to know our thoughts, to know if there be any hurtful way in us.  Why?  For the purpose of leading us in the everlasting way (Psalm 139:23-24).

In Matthew and Psalms, it says that those who suffer and mourn will experience comeliness and joy.  If you mourn, know that you are blessed for “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4 NIV), and “those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy (Psalm 126:5 NIV).

Copyright 2013 by Bill Hutzel

What if prayers for healing are not answered with a “yes”?

The Story of Zac Smith

This is the touching story of Zac Smith who served God for a majority of his life. After being diagnosed with cancer, he was confused and thought he was being punished. Turning to Jesus, his confusion changed to hope and confidence that God had a plan.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOfb5A-i1oc&w=560&h=315]

Cresting the Wave

CrestingWave“For I am the Lord your God, who stirs up the sea and its waves roar (the Lord of hosts is His name).” – Isaiah 51:15 NAS.

This is the God Almighty, all powerful, the great “I Am” expressed in Isaiah 51:15.   I used to love walking the beach in Bay Head, New Jersey in the early morning when the sun was just coming up in the east.   Listening to the waves roll in and looking for sea glass was a pastime of mine since I was a little boy.  Even when I go to the ocean now in my later years, this is one of my favorite things to do.  I would fill my pockets with different colored sea glass that had been furbished by the sea –frosted blues, aquamarines, pinks, reds, browns, whites, and greens.   Oh, what joy that was!  And then I would spread out all the sea glass on a table when I got home and would sort them by color and fill a jar with them to marvel at.  Does God marvel at you?  Are you recognized by the deeds of your flesh, as pieces of jagged glass, or are you evidence of the Holy Spirit at work in you to crucify your flesh?  Is the evidence of God’s waves – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control?

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(By clicking on Read more above, you will link to the posted article in its entirety, and which may be read by any reader that is able to read a PDF format such as with a Kindle device or your laptop.  All you need is a copy of the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Many computers already have it, but you may get it for free from www.Adobe.com).

Copyright 2013 by Bill Hutzel

Embracing Conflict and Suffering

EmbracingConflictNone of us likes conflict, but it is part and parcel with life.   With conflict, often there is suffering.  Conflict can be anything from a disagreement with someone to a struggle of the mind, to a spiritual battle. Failed relationships, businesses that crash, spiritual warfare, are just some of the types of conflict that so many of us face and lack the courage to confront or don’t know how to confront.  But it is courage that God commands of us.   But you say “I am afraid”.  Realize that you will always face situations when fear will try to rule your life, and if we do not allow Jesus to get hold of our heart, and if we do not stay focused on Him in the moment, the conflict can have a devastating impact on our lives, not only emotionally, but in all that we perform daily (our jobs, our kids, new relationships, etc.).  God doesn’t want us to be knocked down repeatedly or to wallow in self-pity, or to feel guilt or remorse.  Realize that your conflict is necessary and can be your spiritual road to peace and joy, and a right relationship with God.                         .

Herein we will look at our mindset to have the right attitude towards conflict and suffering in our lives.  We need to learn to regard conflict and suffering as necessary for spiritual growth. “You can either feel sorry for yourself or treat what has happened as a gift. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose.”

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(By clicking on Read more above, you will link to the posted article in its entirety, and which may be read by any reader that is able to read a PDF format such as with a Kindle device or your laptop.  All you need is a copy of the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Many computers already have it, but you may get it for free from www.Adobe.com).

Copyright 2013 by Bill Hutzel