Conditional happiness. It looks like this:
I’ll be happy when I achieve my goal
I’ll be happy when I lose weight
I’d be happy if I were more confident
I’d be happy if had a bigger house . . . and so on, and so on.
Sitting amid stacks of papers, storage totes and unplugged computers I perused paint samples for my office renovation and joined the chorus of the above sentiments.
When I refurbish my workspace and finally get organized, I’ll be happier.
There. I said it. Shame on me!
Solving problems doesn’t make us happier. Happiness isn’t necessarily a reality, but more of a way of interpreting reality. We base our happiness on tangible objects and life events that go our way. It’s easy to imagine life would be easier . . . better if/when our challenges change.
We long for relief from difficult places. We ache for freedom from the mayhem we find around every corner. We tell ourselves we would be happier if our lives were “normal”. I reckon though that if we were to have a sit-down with Jesus over a cup of dark roast, He might suggest a different perspective.
The chaos of the merry-go-rounds we frequent is the normal life.
Boom. Drop the mic.
Normal is just a setting on the dryer. We often think when things change, we will be happy. We delay our happiness based on future outcomes rather than on a state of being. So, how do we develop lasting happiness?
By cultivating a spirit of joy.
Happiness is a feeling. Joy is a position of the heart. We can experience joy amid any circumstance—any. Joy comes from knowing and abiding in Jesus which depends on who Jesus is rather than on who we are or what is happening to us. Joy in the Lord is accessible 24/7 and can never be taken away.
Choose joy. Meditate on God’s word. Recognize God’s hand in your life and rejoice in it. All of it.
The joy of Jesus provides us strength, limitless comfort, and everlasting peace . . . daily.
Life will always be complicated. Joy helps.
1st Thessalonians 5:16-19 “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Father God, may Your abiding joy take up residence in my heart so I may rejoice in the power of Your spirit and find strength. May Your joy allow me to laugh in the storms of my life and not fear the future. I put my trust in you today. In Your name I pray, amen.