“Be happy in your faith at all times. Never stop praying. Be thankful, whatever the circumstances may be. If you follow this advice, you will be working out the will of God expressed to you in Jesus Christ” (J.B. Phillips New Testament).
“Bee Happy! Psalm 37:4” so reads the garden flag waving in my front yard adorned with colorful embroidered flowers and whimsical flying bees. In the community where I live, yard flags are a common addition. Our yards are small and look very much alike, so between flags and flower plantings we have an opportunity to express our different personalities. Walking through the neighborhood, I enjoy seeing the embellishments people have chosen to share with passersby.
The sentiment, “Bee Happy” is cute, colorful, and quirky which is why I like it, but I am a little troubled that it references the Bible verse in Psalm 37 without further explanation. Bible scripture can be read in a variety of translations and paraphrases. Psalm 37:4 in the Easy English Bible does read “Be happy…” however, taken out of context often leads to a misunderstanding of the intended message. You see, according to the passage, the reason to be happy are the words that follow, “that the LORD is your friend.”
Ironically, looking from the perspective of context, Psalm 37 is about how we should consider ourselves when dealing with “evildoers.” Hm…I wonder how that message might look on a garden flag in the front yard?
Well, the fact is, you and I do have so much for which to be happy. regardless of our circumstances, which may or may not include “evildoers.” Understanding and believing that “the Lord is our friend” should fill us with joy and happiness. Probably each one of us has a story that includes at least one person who does not like us. For certain, we all have an adversary, Satan, who hates God and, therefore, hates those who love God and believe in His Son, Jesus Christ. Satan wants to steal our happiness, joy, and peace.
But for Jesus…as the flag states, “Bee Happy!”