A friend of mine called me today and asked me if we deserve happiness. She knew what I would say because we had talked about this before, but she has a close friend of hers who she has been counseling in marital trouble. The friends main trouble in her marriage is that she is not happy. This is such a common reason for divorce, so many marriages split because they are not happy with each other and grow out of love for each other. I am going to be blunt here and say that if you leave a marriage for that reason you are being selfish.
Back to the title question, What is Happiness? Happiness is circumstantial. It is based on the circumstances that come into our lives. Do we deserve it? No. One hundred years ago people did not think that they deserved to be happy. If you had a great day or had a special thing happen to you that made you smile, then you were happy and you had much to be thankful for. Now keep on reading before you get mad at me. The thought before that until now, was, as Jesus says himself in John 16:33, “In this life you will have trouble…”. True, but in the next, if you know the Lord, you will know no trouble. That entire verse says “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this life you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Joy! Now joy is different. Joy is a state of mind, a contentment in all circumstances. Joy is what gets you through the tough days. Have you ever run into a friend who tells you about many of the things going on in her life and you think “Wow, how did you even get out of bed today?”. Yet, that person is still peaceful and full of joy. If you can lay down the idea of being happy and pick up the idea of joy and contentment in all circumstances then you can be this way too.
How and where do you get this kind of joy? First, by inviting Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Savior. Second, accepting His gift of joy to you. Nehemiah 8:10 says “…Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” I challenge you to do a word study on the word JOY. After this study you will have a very good understanding of this gift of joy that your God has given you. Start today by searching out His joy. This is another way that you can add that third strand to your life. Invite God as your third strand in all the circumstances of your life.