Staring out over the blessings I’ve been given and the horses I’ve dreamed of having my whole life, I am reminded of something. When I was single I told myself often “I’ll be happy when I can finally leave the city and live in the country, all I want is some land and horses and I’ll be happy. I’ll be happy when I am finally married to a godly country man like Charles Ingalls. To my surprise, God fully answered my prayers! I am so blessed by Tim, the “Charles Ingalls” husband God blessed me with and the farm I’ve always dreamed of. The strange thing is, as amazing as His answered prayers are, people, things and circumstances can’t turn you into a happy person, they can give you some happy times, yes, but the problem is, when we place our happiness in people, things or circumstances we will find ourselves less and less happy than we ever were before. For example, there are so many celebrities who can buy almost anything they want or need, and are more depressed, suicidal and/or anxious than ever before? Why? Because they’d gotten everything they ever thought would make them happy and, as always, it didn’t deliver on the promise. Now they are either left searching for the next thing that might make them happy or they lose all hope because there is nothing left for them to pursue to fill the void.
And so it is with every person that walks this earth. We can’t place our hope and happiness in anyone or anything but the things of God...His Word, His presence, His purpose for your life and serving others and most of all the amazing eternal life promised to those who truly believe. When we place our hope in these things of God to bring us happiness, peace and purpose, we will be surprised at how much this World-system lies to us.
Yes, when we get something new we feel happy but it’s always short lived, so then we’re constantly left searching for our next fix...buying something, eating something, using drugs or alcohol, attention from a person...the list goes on.
When we seek God with all our hearts, minds and strength we will find a joy that lasts through the hard times, the scary times and the empty times. We can have a foundational peace and joy that lasts when we place our hope in God, His purposes, and plans...even when we are hurting, grieving and broken. “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Is this easy? No, it’s not. Not in this pleasure seeking, fast paced world we live in. A world where we are bombarded with the next new thing that promises to make us happy. I have to wake up every morning and choose who I will serve and follow that day and who or what will I place my hope in?
Try it for a week. Start each morning in prayer or each time you are searching for something or someone to make you happy or comfort you, grab a Bible or a devotional, read and pray. Pray for God to fill the emptiness within, to satisfy the unmet longings. Thank Him for all he has blessed you with already. Pray for others who are less fortunate, hurting or sick. Find some way you could give back to the community or help someone in need. God designed us to serve others and in His wisdom it’s solves two problems. Helping those in need and delivering us from depression and anxiety, because when we are serving others we don’t have time to focus on ourselves, our pain and trials. They seem to disappear into the background of the peace and joy we find when we are following Gods wishes for our life by serving and loving Him and others.
Give God a chance, forgetting what others may have done to you or surrendering the belief that He has let you down. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” Proverbs 3:5-6 You will be surprised at the peace and joy that follows when you trust and follow Him. The world will daily try to tell us there is no way those things will make us happy but don’t believe that lie. That lie is Satan, hoping we will keep pursing anything and everything that will distract us from serving God and not him. It’s a trap...the trap that all addictions are founded on.
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1
“For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 2 Corinthians 3:17
And to answer the question “Am I Happy?”, no, not always but when I remember to place my hope and attention on things of God, I am reminded of the peace and join that already resides in my heart and is way much more satisfying than “being happy”! Not to mention, it sure eases the pressure off my husband when I am not expecting Him to make me happy. ;)