We all want to be happy!
Something the dictionary defines as a state of well-being or contentment.
Yet, I’m not sure that’s the definition most of us are trying to attain.
Because then happiness wouldn’t be something to be attained in the next big thing…
The next vacation, purchase, or relationship.
If happiness is simply a state of well-being and contentment we should be happier, shouldn’t we?
Paul wrote to Timothy…
If we have enough food and clothing, let us be content.1 Timothy 6:8
Something to eat and something to wear is not typically the measure by which we weigh our level of happiness, is it?
Yet, I’ve seen people who seem to have everything life has to offer and they’re miserable; and I’ve seen people who barely have enough to get by each day who exude happiness.
What’s the difference?
I believe there are a few things people who are happy do differently than those who are not.
- They don’t play the comparison game.
- They have an eternal perspective.
- They don’t confuse happiness and joy.
You Need to Avoid the Comparison Trap
I have to tamp down the comparison temptation all the time and social media doesn’t help.
It’s so easy for you and me to compare our every day unexciting to our friends’ perfect pictures and exciting announcements. Facebook and Instagram are flooded with photos that invite us to compare our homes and our stuff, our success or lack of it, our children’s success or lack of it, our _____________ (you fill in the blank).
Paul wrote to the people in Philippi…
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.Philippians 4:12–13
I’m always humbled when I read about all Paul suffered as a servant of the Lord. He was whipped, beaten, stoned, shipwrecked, and imprisoned. And yet, he wrote that the secret to contentment through all these circumstances was found in Christ, the One who gave him strength.
Paul also wrote to Timothy…
Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. 7After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content.1 Timothy 6:^–8
Faith in Jesus gave Paul the contentment that comes from having an eternal perspective and that changes everything.
You Need to Have an Eternal Perspective
Jesus answer to not worrying about having enough for life was…
Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.Matthew 6:32–33
When you and I seek the Lord above everything else and surrender our lives to Him our perspective changes.
So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.2 Corinthians 4:18
I love this quote from C. S. Lewis…
“Our life on Earth is the first page of a never ending story.”
And when you and I live in light of eternity everything changes … every little decision, every relationship, every want, and every need.
You Need to Find Your Joy in Jesus
The dictionary defines joy as the feeling of great pleasure and happiness but for you and me there is a slight difference between the two.
Joy is something that grows in your soul because of your faith.
We have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace[a with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.Romans 5:1–2
And Jesus said this about joy…
I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!
So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy.John 15:11, John 16:20,
Look at this list of reasons we can find our joy in Jesus…
- We are loved by God, Himself. John 3:16
- We are covered by His grace. Ephesians 2:4–5
- We are forgiven. Ephesians 1:7
- We have the assurance of heaven. John 10:27–28
- We have His presence. Matthew 28:20
- We know He hears our prayers. 1 John 5:14
- We have His help. Hebrews 13:6
- We have His protection. 1 Peter 1:5
- We have God’s peace that passes understanding. Philippians 4:7
- We have strength. Philippians 4:13
And friend, those things never change for a child of God.
You and I can proclaim with David…
The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.Psalm 28:7
Happiness that is based on today’s circumstances is fragile and can’t last.
But happiness that is based on the eternal blessings you and I have in Jesus … is a well-being and contentment you and I can enjoy every single day now and forever.
And most important…
You Need to Seek God First
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and He will give you everything you need.Luke 12:31
Remember … happiness is defined as a state of well-being and contentment.
I believe God wants that for us and when we seek Him first, when we trust His will, and follow where He leads … well-being and happiness become part of that everything.
How can I say that?
Because I know when I’ve taken my eyes off the Lord and chased after worldly happiness, I’m neither content or happy. I’m anxious and stressed out. I’m a mess.
But when I rest in Him. When I spend time with Him through His Word and prayer. When I focus on loving Him and loving others (Luke 10:27) then I have everything I need … peace, joy, contentment, and yes, true happiness.
I’m praying for you today, and I’m asking God to bless you and give you everything you need to find your happiness in Him.
God bless you!
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