Reflections on Happiness: A Personal Testimony
I've also reflected on this reality: Most churches and Christians are not consistently involved in outreach, evangelism, consistent Christian service, and missions work. Why is this? Could it be those things don't make people happy?
I then considered some of the things I've done in obedience to God that did not make me happy, or become a factor in "go" or "no go" decision points before committing to action:
I've been to Africa (Nigeria and Kenya) four times for (light duty) missions work. On prison yards and cell blocks doing crusades (locked in with so-called "crazies" all day!), taken food to people in places some call "ghettos," sat with people at the hospital who were sick or injured, been called to crime and death scenes to comfort families, intervened late nights to get brothers out of trouble, such as a crack house or preventing violence, etc.
I share these few instances to emphasize this point: Not many people who may read this enjoy life more, do a greater variety of activities, get more things done, or have more fun, than me…..and I'm not even happy all the time! God has asked me to do a great number of things that did not make me happy or bring personal benefit, but have helped a lot of people and honored Christ.
We need to realize that happiness is a temporary and mostly emotional/psychological state…like getting high. However, joy always endures, like good character.
Remember, God does not follow us, we follow Him. Don't worry about, or obsess over, being blessed.
"The joy of the Lord is your strength." Nehemiah 8:10
"Happiness is your lemonade." Hudson 1:1
Yes, it's all about Jesus...all the time...and not about us…even when we receive a benefit. We don't NEED to be popular, wonderful, or happy. We need to be faithful to God and His Word and teach others to do the same (Matt. 28:19). Jesus keeps His promises and calls us to responsibility, "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." Matthew 6:33,
Remember this: One of the biggest deceptions in life is looking for (or paying for) something you already have.
Please don't run around chasing happiness or trying to be wonderful, and end up only getting more full of yourself. Read and understand your Bible which is God's Word. Give yourself away. Love and serve God…for God and for others.
Hebrews 12:2, Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God…14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.
Colossians 1:16b, Everything was created through him and for him. 17 He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.