We have just entered the Jewish month of Adar (Feb.20-Mar.21). Months on God’s calendar mark more than the passing of time. They are prophetic seasons with particular meaning and purpose. Just as summer flows through autumn into winter followed by spring in a repeating cycle, months on God’s calendar move us forward toward our destiny in cycles of ever-increasing blessings and fulfillment. As we align with God’s timing and His prophetic plan, we know where our focus should be each month, life takes on a greater sense of meaning and we honor God with worship that goes far beyond mere form or ritual.
Adar is a month to be ‘intentionally happy’. In Deuteronomy 28, Moses pronounces blessings which we experience in abundance as we are faithful to the Lord and to His commandments (the Hebrew word is ‘overtake us’— ‘sweep us off our feet’, ‘blow us away’, ‘unmeasurable abundance’). In listing curses that in like manner overtake us when we disregard the Lord and His commandments, Moses adds, “Because you did not serve the Lord your God with JOYFULNESS and GLADNESS OF HEART, because of the abundance of all things.” Clearly, a dutiful but begrudging, joyless religious performance does not impress God any more than outright rebellion and disobedience!
When Ezra assembled the people to hear the Torah, a heavy cloud of conviction fell upon them. On their knees and faces, the people wept as they realized how far they had strayed from Yahweh and His Law. Nehemiah, the governor, stepped forward to declare, “This is indeed a holy day, a day of repentance and re-dedication; a profound and sovereign work of Yahweh has transpired. His Word has come alive to us and has brought life back to our souls which were dead in our trespasses and sins. But now, have done with weeping and mourning. Focus on the goodness of Yahweh, on His mercy and forgiveness. Enjoy His blessings. Go home and celebrate with family and friends, for THE JOY OF THE LORD IS YOUR STRENGTH.”
Proverbs 17:22 (AMP) reads, “A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing.”
Medical research confirms that LAUGHTER boosts the immune system, speeds the heart rate and improves blood circulation, causes the body to secrete enzymes that protect the stomach from ulcers, alleviates depression, lowers blood pressure, reduces stress, increases the oxygen level in blood, gives sense of well-being, immeasurably increases the enjoyment of life, and slows the aging process.
God wants us to be happy. A JOYFUL HEART HELPS KEEP US HEALTHY. Determine with me to be ‘intentionally happy’ this month.
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