MM00054 Are you happy
Mentoring Manna: Are you happy?
© 2003 Pastor Keith Hassell
Psalm 146:5 “Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God.” Are you happy? Happiness is the pleasure and contentment we feel when we experience favored circumstances. Regrettably, many Christians are not happy in life. They are miserable in the midst of unfavorable circumstances. Instead of happiness, many believers are filled with bitterness, resentment, and are overcome by depression. This is not what Christ intended for our lives.
It seems that many believers have the idea that happiness is the goal in life. If we are not happy, then we feel that we need to make a change so we can “be happy.” Many foolishly make critical choices in life such as divorce, career change, or leaving a church based solely on the reasoning, “I’m not happy.”
The reality is that we will never experience happiness based on circumstances because circumstances always change. People change, job conditions change, spouses change, children change, economic conditions change, relationships change, and we change. Favorable circumstances are never constant and neither is our sense of satisfaction with them.
Lasting happiness does not come from the outside in. True happiness comes from the inside out. We all know people who live in adverse conditions and yet they are happy. Their happiness is not affected by what is happening around them. Circumstances get better and worse. Although they may experience discomfort in their circumstances, they are happy and pleasant to be around. What is the source of this kind of happiness?
King David found that happiness comes from knowing that God is our help and that He is our hope. When we place our expectations in people to make us happy, we will never be happy. They will always let us down. When we place our expectations in things to make us happy, we will never be happy. Things lose their effectiveness to keep us happy. When we believe that certain circumstances will make us happy, we will never be happy. Circumstances always change. The one thing that never changes is God. When a person places their hope in God and looks to Him as their help, then that person will be happy on the inside no matter what is happening on the outside. We will never be happy as long as we allow anything other than God to become the source of our happiness.
Are you unhappy? Then stop basing your happiness on the people and circumstances around you. Get your eyes off of them and make God the true Source of your happiness. Only God can make you happy from the inside out.
Application: It seems epidemic today that Christians are looking for something external to make them happy. Christian singles compromise God’s clearly defined morals in order to find that “right” person who will make them happy. Christian marriage partners divorce their spouses in order to find someone who they think will make them happy. Teenagers rebel against the protection of their parents in an attempt to do things that this world says will make them happy. Christians leave churches to find a church that promises to make them happy. Christians work extra hours and even Sundays in order to buy things that will make them happy. Many borrow from their future financial security in an attempt to buy a little happiness now. The search for happiness never ends because people and things cannot make us happy. The root of our unhappiness is found in a shallow relationship with God. Unhappiness is absence of true pleasure and contentment in God. Are you unhappy? Then come to terms with the reality that you will never be happy on the outside until you are happy on the inside---with God.
Prayer: “Heavenly Father, I repent for blaming others for my own feelings of unhappiness. I remove from those around me the unrealistic expectations that they are responsible to make me happy. I accept the responsibility for my own happiness by recognizing that true happiness comes from the inside out. I choose today to make You and You alone the true Source of my happiness. I count You to be my help and my hope in the midst of the ever-changing circumstances of this life. I thank You for this in Jesus’ name. Amen.”