How Can I Be Happy With All These Troubles?
In our society there is much talk about happiness. Happiness is even a Bible subject. In Psalm 35:9 we read, "And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation." We do not think of happiness as a choice but happiness is in fact just that, a choice. You can choose to be happy, or you can choose negativity and thus be miserable and make everyone around you miserable. In Psalm 146:5 we read, "Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God." When you choose happiness, you lift the spirits of those around you, and you get happiness in return. "Happy is the man who finds wisdom." (Proverbs 3:13)
Leah named one of her sons "Asher" which means "In my happiness." "And Leah said, Happy am I, for the daughters will call me blessed: and she called his name Asher. (Genesis 30:13) If we are serious about happiness then we must be serious about attitudes that promotes love, understanding, justice, hospitality and compassion. These are the things that are helpful for our spiritual growth. An enduringly happy, useful, and contented life is possible now - but only to those who "lose" their selfish life in the selfless service of God and their fellow man. It is possible to be happy even while living in difficult or miserable circumstances. Some people are happy; others actually work at making themselves and those around them miserable. I challenge you to take these steps and if you do it will help you to be happy.
Step one -- Decide each day to be happy. Decide every morning that you are going to be in a good mood. Being in a good mood daily is possible when you wake up grateful that you have God's grace and peace through Jesus. Paul wrote, "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." (Philippians 1:2) Always focus on the good things of life, especially on you forgiveness and the hope that you have in Christ. When you wake up why spoil it with an unpleasant attitude? A positive Christian attitude can add much to your day. Let us understand that, "This is the day which the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." (Psalms 118:24)
Step two -- Be thankful for the good things that you have and for the good people who are in your life. These are blessing from God. Everything in life want always go your way, it want always go against you either. "Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble." (Job 14:1) Many good people touch your life daily. You have many positive qualities in your life. You have much to give to the world. Do not squander your life with negativism and ingratitude. In Philippians 1:3-5 we read, "I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now." Be thankful for other Christians and for the good they do. Be thankful for salvation, be thankful for the church, and be thankful for the opportunity to serve. Be thankful for your family.
Step three -- Be humble and have the spirit of Christ. As Christians we must strive to acquire humility, for there is no better thing in this life then to live in humility, loving one another and loving God with all of our hearts. So often, though our pride gets in our way. When we lose our humility we begin to lose our love for not only our God, but also for our family. So it is absolutely vital for our spiritual health that we defeat pride by humbling ourselves in love before our gracious God, and letting that love spread out to touch everyone around us, family, fellow Christians, friends and enemies alike. God inspired Paul to say, "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 2:5) If you think too highly of self you may get to feeling sorry for yourself. Both attitudes will make you miserable. Those with a humble, Christ-like spirit find happiness regardless of circumstance.
Step four -- Stop complaining and murmuring. Choose to have a positive attitude even in the face of difficulties. Look for hope in your life. Paul wrote, “Do all things without complaining and disputing." (Philippians 2:14) Those who hold grudges and complain about every little slight will always be miserable. You also guarantee yourself and others misery if you think you are entitled to special privileges. Opportunities are always there for you to be better and for your world to change for the better. It is not too late. Your love can change someone's world. Stop complaining and stand up and change your world. We must want to change our world. You should believe that you can achieve something for God, for yourself and for your family. Stand up and change your world.
Step five -- learn from your past mistakes and value your relationship with God. We have all messed up. Regret those sins. Learn from them and do not repeat the past. Even our personal failure is no excuse for us to choose misery. God is good and He wants us saved. God's goodness draws us to Him. "Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?" (Romans 2:4) Paul wrote, "Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!" (Philippians 4:4) True happiness belongs to those who are "in Christ." Christians have much to rejoice about; especially forgiveness of sins. Before Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden they knew God on an intimate, personal level. They walked with Him in the Garden and talked directly to Him. (Genesis 3:8) Let us leave our past mistakes and walk with God. God gave us the opportunity to spend eternity with Him through Jesus Christ.
Step six -- Have faith in what life can bring. God finds many ways to send blessings to you. Be open to receiving happiness and joy from the hand of our great God. Let yourself enjoy the positive experiences of your life with God and with your family. By inspiration of God Paul wrote, "And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19) Money is not the answer to having happiness and joy. God is the answer to man's needs. Do not feel sorry for yourself. Lift up your head and heart. Be thankful and enjoy the peace of God. "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7)
"Whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he." (Proverbs 16:20) The love and sacrifice of Jesus is still deeper than any thought that I could imagine. Yet, you must choose life. The sinner’s part is to obey the truth. "Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever." (1 Peter 1:22-23) To obey the truth you must believe in Jesus with all your heart (John 8:24), Repent of your sins (Luke 13:3), Confess the name of Jesus (Acts 8:37), and be baptized to wash away your sins. (Acts 22:16) After your baptism into Christ follow Him with a solid, determined, settled and unmovable attitude of service.
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, 306 Walnut Street, Greenville, Alabama 36037 USA