40 Days of Fasting and Prayer

Another New Year dawns in a way that seems almost endless. But as we all know, time quickly marches on. As I am reflecting the year that lies before us, I am reminded of one of my dad’s favorite writers Joseph Addison who summarized the absolute necessities of life. He writes, “The three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.”

I hope you already know what it is that you will do in 2018. I hope your “to do” list is overflowing already with little hope of completion, because having something to do is an essential dimension of the happy life. I hardly know how a Christian could lack for something to do! The imitation of our Lord fills our days to overflowing, always with something remaining for tomorrow. Want to be happy? Find something to do!

“The three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.”

Invest your life in something that is bigger than you are, will last longer than you, and does not seek only to satisfy your own needs. Improve your life by investing in something.

Secondly, I wish for you something to love. Contrary to Addison’s perfect parallelism, however, I wish for you also someone to love. May your 2018 be filled with meaningful and fulfilling relationships. I encourage you to invest your life in people.

I wish for you hope. Specifically, a hope for eternity found only in Jesus Christ.

Finally, I wish for you hope—something to hope for. This is perhaps the most powerful dimension of the three Addison mentions. Aging may take away from us the sources of happiness we often point to. But happiness is ultimately about hope. Where there is hope, the potential for happiness still exists. Thus, I wish for you hope. Specifically, a hope for eternity found only in Jesus Christ.  My prayer is for each of you to have a new year filled with happiness and that it will be spiritually prosperous. Let us make one of our 2018 goals to become more like Jesus!

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