Friday, 28 May 2010

Finding Happiness

Happiness is contagious. You catch it from others. That's why the happiest people on earth are those who are blessed with others. When they are with others they spread and catch happiness. Yet for many people happiness is an allusion- it alludes them. They buy books, attend seminars, go on retreats, hire life-coaches in an attempt to remedy their unhappiness. But the remedy to this allusion can often end up leaving them sadder (as well as out-of-pocket).
Happiness is a wonderful gift from God. Those who have it have learned how to share it. They have learned that it is not caused by circumstances, but by their own responses. They have quickly discovered how to ensure that it disappears and have made certain resolutions that would ensure they are more likely to be in a happy state than an unhappy one.
Of course the Christ follower has many obvious reasons to be happy. We have had our true condition revealed to us and it is desperately pitiful. Of course this is not a reason to be happy, except that it makes the solution to our dire and critical condition all the more wonderful! There is the line in a hymn that says,
My shame was deep
But His mercy was deeper still
The ageing and by then blind John Newton, who wrote the classic song Amazing Grace, became quite vague toward the end but on his deathbed he said conceded and gloried-
There are many things I cannot remember, but this I can never forget-
I am a great sinner and Christ is a great Saviour!
Speaking at a church dinner for Crossroads Christian Church, St Leonard MarylandBut not all Christ-followers realise their wonderful reason to be infinitely happy. This is why the Apostle Paul told the Ephesians that he was praying that the eyes of their understanding would be opened to what Christ had really done for them.
having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, Ephesians 1:18
If someone introduced themselves to you as "your protector" you might be mildly thankful - but you would be greatly more thankful if you had seen what they had just protected you from! God is our Protector! We have cause to be happy!
Happy People Know That...
1. Happiness is contagious - you don't find it in isolation - good friends go with happiness
2. Excessive inactivity and idleness eats happiness away
3. Setting and assessing regular goals helps happiness
4. Everyone feels unhappy at times, and that's OK
5. Their own happiness grows as they give it away
6. When things are good there is Someone to thank! 

Even in the midst of phenomenally negative circumstances the Apostle Paul was happy. He lists some of the hardships he had recently endured and then said-
Romans 8:37 ¶ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
Wow! "More than conquerors"...Wow!!!! Not just conquerors - more than conquerors!In the ancient era in which Paul wrote, Conquerors would make their vanquished enemies their 'footstools'. That is, they would have to bow down before their conqerors. But to be "more than a conqueror" is not to just have your enemies bow before you but to have your enemies serve you. Paul saw that trials, distress, deprivation, pain and even the death of loved ones, actually served us! It's not that we just overcome these things, we are not just conquerors, we are more than conquerors! It's not our circumstances which determine whether we can be happy or not. We can be more than conquerors in the midst of pain, trials, and difficulties and therefore enjoy life and be happy! 
Father, help us to be happy. Open our eyes so that we can see why we really have great cause to be happy. Thank you that You have shown us our true condition so that we can sense just how infinitely pitiful we really are. And thank You Lord God for Your infinite mercy extened toward us by sending Jesus Christ to suffer and die in our place . We give You thanks for the Holy Spirit Whom You have sent into our hearts and minds. So Lord, despite our circumstnaces please fill us with great joy and help us to be happy. In Jesus' Name,

No comments:

Post a Comment