Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Happiness

Have you ever wanted to be happy? Done things to make yourself happy? Been motivated by happiness? Have you tried endlessly to make yourself happy? Do people describe you as 'happy'? Do you describe yourself as 'happy'? How about God-do you think of Him as 'happy'?

Of course we ALL want to be happy, we all try to be happy, we make choices based on what will make us happy, we want to be described as happy, we wish we were always happy and, God- well, we wish He was always happy too.  But we are told by some that His happiness is based on our obedience and if we don't obey, in essence He is not happy.. 

The questions above are all that I have had in the past.  And i have marveled and rejoiced that 'yes' is my answer! But then i asked myself why could i answer yes? Have i just had that good of a life? Some may argue that is why, but i want to propose otherwise:
1. Happiness is circumstantial. (I was taught this, by my parents-as proof for the difference between joy & happiness. B/c of my name being Joy, I often felt like being called something else and told my parents so- to which they replied with this lesson).
If everything is going my way- i am happy. If not- i am sad. But joy exists even when things aren't going my way.  It is the gift of God to see things as He sees them. 
2.  God is good.  I am not saying that just knowing God is what is good, or that when God does what I like that He is good, or when I am healthy, clean, safe and content-He is good. NO. Always. No matter how I or anyone else feels, no matter the condition of the economy, no matter the condition of any circumstance- He IS good. He does what is best. I don't have to agree with Him or think that what He chose is best. But I must believe it for me to be truly happy. 
3. God gave us the desire to be happy. Every person who has ever lived or will ever live desires to be happy. Consider these quotes:
"We hold these truths to be self–evident,That all men are created equal,That they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,That among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness"-These words were written by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence.
"Indeed, man wishes to be happy even when he so lives as to make happiness impossible."  ~St. Augustine
He gave us this desire so that we would eternally be on a quest for Himself. For the only true way we can be happy is in HIM. The old hymn says "trust and obey for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus than to trust and obey". I have found that if i truly believe God is good and that He genuinely wants me to be happy and i do obey Him that i have a deeper more meaningful happiness than anything i could muster up alone. [i.e. It may not seem like it would make you happy to discipline your child when they disobey-for it doesn't make then happy when you discipline them and if they are unhappy then to a degree aren't you unhappy? However, God says "Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him. And "The Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights."( Prov  3:12 and 13:24. )And when i see the fruit of disciplining my child i am happy.] God knows what makes up truly happy. More than we do and through circumstances we may not enjoy at all times, but that its end is happiness. For life will be FULL of times of 'unhappiness' but we await an eternal happiness in Him in heaven forever and ever. What greater happiness is there than Him? "whom have I in heaven but you And earth has nothing I desire besides you." Psalm 73:25.
4.  God is happy. He does what pleases Himself.(Psalm 135:6/115:3)  There is nothing that 
happens that he does not allow, foresee and plan for the good of Himself and His people 
(Romans 8:28). So why couldn't i trust and rest fully knowing this? What could be told to me 
to make me any happier? He is in charge. Not some unhappy, bent on destruction-God. He 
works for my good. He is good. He is happy. So should i be.
I think most of my life i unknowingly thought of God as happy. Now, i consciously tell myself 
that. God is happy. He is good. So this (whatever it may be) is for my good and so i should be 
happy.
So friends, how is your level of happiness and what is it based on?