Voices of Faith: Am I really living the dream?

“I am living the dream!” is often heard from people happy about something in life. Often it is tied to going on a dream vacation, buying a new home or toy, or discovering a new perspective on life.

The droves of RVs and campers that swarm the peninsula this time of year testify to the desire to “live out that dream.” While all these events or things can bring some happiness in life, usually this happiness often fades like the changing seasons.

Sometimes people think “happiness” is only reserved for people with a certain temperament or needs to be displayed with a fake smile. What if there was a true joy available that would not fade, goes deeper than a surface smile or be manufactured by circumstances? What if that kind of joy comes only from God?

In the Bible the book of Psalms is a series of “songs” which explore the different landscapes of human life. One section, named the “Songs of Ascent” focuses on the highs and lows while remembering the faithfulness of God.

In Psalm 126 the author celebrates how the people of Israel were at one point far away from God but had returned to the Lord. Psalm 126:1 says, “When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream.” The return and cause for joy was rooted in the fact that it was God who had “brought back” and restored the “dream” to them. The joy was so amazing it was like a dream come true.

Psalm 126:2-3 describes: “Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy… The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad.” The dream is described as a result of restoring his people, which caused laughter, shouts of joy, and a witness to others around them about the goodness of God.

The author then describes how this dream came true and shows the journey of finding deep seeded joy. This joy is rooted in knowing and following God because he has restored you: “Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!” (Psalms 126:5). It is based in who God is and the power that he has to restore.

For us it then becomes an active decision to respond to God, let him restore us, and give us that deep joy that never fades. Jesus described this transformation as an overflowing life in John 10:10, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Have you received this joy from God? If so, you are “living the dream!”

Frank Alioto is the pastor of The River Covenant Church: “An Alaskan church for people who would rather go to the River.” We gather on Sundays at 10:30 a.m. at K-Beach Elementary in Soldotna. 252-2828 or www.therivercovenantchurch.org.

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