Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Is Everybody Happy?

Most people would tell you that their ambition in life is to be happy.  How often I’ve heard a mother say something like, “All I want for my children is to be happy.”  No doubt I’ve said it or thought it myself.
Happiness, for most people, would be a life without major problems, a life with no significant worries, enough money to do what you want to do, good relationships to fulfill your need for love and community, etc., etc.  Or, to put it another way, happiness is life the way I want it to be.

Then along comes Jesus and turns the whole happiness thing on its ears!  Imagine if you were listening to this itinerant preacher along the Galilee, thinking he was going to bring you free food and healing and hopefully freedom from Rome.  And instead, he says, “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matt. 10:39).  And then he says, “A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15b). 

This was revolutionary teaching, and you can be sure that not everyone bought it.  It went against their idea of happiness, and it goes against most people’s ideas today. What is your definition of happiness?  It is revealed in the way you live your life, the way you spend your time and money, the priorities you establish, and the friends you pursue.

Happiness is a by-product of losing your life for the sake of Jesus and the gospel.  That means, putting others first, investing major portions of your time and energy and resources into the lives of others, giving up your “rights” and relinquishing control of your life’s plan to the Lord.

For far too many years, I was determined to find happiness my way, and it took me about ten years to figure out that I had failed miserably.  But when I finally gave it all over to Jesus, he has proven to me again and again that dying to self is the way to the abundant life he offers. 

You’ll never find happiness until you take self off the throne of your heart, and put Jesus there.  It really is quite that simple.

2 comments:

  1. I wish I didn't have to learn this the hard way. Intellectually I understand it but I can't apply it in a way that changes my life. I'm so unhappy with my job and it's affecting my health and marriage. For some reason, I just can't let it go. I need a break but I'm scared to live on one income. I have so much anxiety about what the future holds--I don't see how people can live like this; it's not worth it. I have no energy and I can't give to anyone else because I'm so unhappy that I have nothing positive to give. Please pray for me. My name is Katy.

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  2. Katy, We will definitely be praying for you. I do hope that you can get down on your knees today and give it all to Jesus. He is there to take those fears and burdens in your life and give you hope and peace. Please feel free to call our office to pray with someone over the phone. Our number is: 630-462-0552.

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