But there are times that it seems so out of reach. And there was a time not so long ago that I believed it would always be out of reach for me. But God loves to teach us by life experiences – its a love / hate relationship that I haven’t quite figured out yet. And I don’t think I ever will. But happiness has been one of the biggest life lessons I’ve ever had.
I think when things go wrong in this life we try to find happiness in things that make us feel good – shopping for the best new thing, eating our favorite foods, surrounding ourselves with people who might be destructive to us …. and it does make us feel good. For awhile. And then it fades.
It’s simple: The things of this world are not permanent, which is why our happiness is not permanent when its found in them. We will always lose when we place our happiness in worldly things. To find happiness, we’ve got to sink our roots into our relationship with God. Afterall, he’s sent his son to give us the happiness that we can feel in this life.
“The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).” – John 10:10
Small sidenote: I always always check the amplified version of scripture against my traditional NIV version. I want my life to be amplified, so my scripture should be too, right?
Here’s what I’ve learned in my struggle to finding happiness:
1. Happiness is a gift given by God. And its a gift he didn’t have to give us, but he did.
“But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness; His way of doing and being right, and then all these things will be given to you.” – Matthew 6:33
2. Happiness is better appreciated when you’ve got to earn it. Wear your battle scars with pride – to overcome and come out on top is happiness.
3. Your happiness is not someone else’s happiness – so stop comparing yourself to others. God is leading you down a unique path. Make your own happiness and own that.
4. You are about as happy as you make your mind up to be on a given day. Jesus has given us the invitation every morning to wake up and live a life of complete and utter engagement, embrace that, not your circumstances.
5. So much happiness is found in giving to others. Strive to give something to someone who can’t ever repay you. You will be amazed at the happiness that will stir in your soul.
“And you will be blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied). Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” – Luke 10:10
6. To be truly happy: forgive. People are awful sometimes. I’ve been hurt in ways I’ve never imagined was possible. But I never felt true happiness until I gave the grudge I was feeling to God and finally freed myself from the drag.
7. Don’t take things so seriously. Enjoy the life that you were meant to live. God is guiding you.
8. Remember that what God promises to us, will be, it just won’t be on our timetable.
“And blessed (happy, to be envied) is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of the things that were spoken to her from the Lord.” – Luke 1:45
9. Believe and know that God will work everything out in your favor. There is some kind of a sweet happiness in surrendering to that.
10. Be Available. Allow God to break you, move you, call you, mend you, stretch you, strengthen you, polish you, mold you, pull you, push you and make you happy. Whatever it takes. Don’t run.
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