A Key to Happiness
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Faith in God is crucial to our happiness. Faith supplies an inner peace that meets our deepest needs. Unbelievers clutch at straws in their passion to persuade us that there is no God, but our hearts know better. We are born with inner conviction that there is a Supreme Being. Therefore, believing in and trusting God gives us inner joy.
God wants us to believe that He will supply everything that we need (see Phil. 4:19), but we are plagued by the same temptation that caused Eve to want more than she had. If we are not content with what we have, we are not enjoying the “secret” that Paul described. He said he had: …learned the secret of being content in any and every situation… (Phil. 4:12 NIV).
As we learn contentment, our faith in God increases!
When we choose to be unhappy, we face a similar problem to the one Paul had when he chose to persecute Christians. He believed that he was doing the right thing, but he was hurting himself: Paul, Paul, why are you persecuting me? You are only hurting yourself (Acts 26:14 TLB).
While living in the Garden of Eden, Eve decided to be discontented, and we know what happened! But you and I can decide to be content with our “situation”. Many times, every day, we can decide to rejoice regardless of what other thoughts may try to make us unhappy. The more we do this, the greater our joy becomes. We keep learning new reasons to rejoice, while others seem to discover reasons to be unhappy.
At one time, I took on the responsibility to do a certain job that needed to be done every day. It wasn’t the sort of work I enjoy, but because I try to never complain, I was doing my “duty” every day. But in my heart, I was thinking, I sure wish I didn’t need to do this.
One day the Holy Spirit got my attention and asked me if I thought God wanted me to do the task. What could I say? Of course, He must want me to do it. So why wasn’t I enjoying the opportunity to do what He wanted me to do?
We may think it is asking too much for us to enjoy doing something we don’t enjoy, but now I understand that the task itself was not my problem. The problem was within me. Without intending to, I had made up my mind that I didn’t enjoy my task and had steadfastly stuck to that decision. Why couldn’t I work at changing what was within me? I could, and I did! Instead of letting my mind wander and not enjoying my labor, I started declaring my gladness that God had:
- Given me the strength to do it.
- Given me the materials to work with.
- Given me a spirit that could be guided by His Spirit.
On and on I expanded my reasons for being glad. Within days something new happened in me. I was able to find joy in the work I needed to do. My new success blessed me, and I was clearly aware that God was pleased.
I encourage you to think about the tasks that God has arranged in your life. Do you want to find joy in them? At first the goal may seem too hard to reach, but don’t give up. God wants to take everything in our lives and make it work for our good. Enjoy this new challenge! (Reprint from October 2009).