You Can Be Happy Now by Merlin Carothers

Bubbling with Happiness

Happiness:  So universally sought, but seemingly elusive. Since Adam and Eve rebelled against God and were cast from the Garden of Eden, mankind has sought the happiness only God can give. But many people exist on a meager portion of happiness. If you are one of those folks, I have wonderful news: you can have and enjoy the happiness that comes to everyone who sincerely seeks it. Consider the unsightly weeds. They spring up everywhere and need no encouragement. But flowers must be planted, fertilized, watered and given regular care. Unhappiness springs up easily and needs no special assistance, but acquiring happiness requires patient effort. I have been blessed to know people who bubbled with happiness. What a witness they were to me! They inspired me to want to learn their secret for joy, since for many years I thought I could never get over my natural tendency to feel sorry for myself at every opportunity - a self-pity that made me quick to snap at anyone who disrupted the peace and tranquility that I craved. Our human nature wants everything to be exactly as we desire before we can be happy. This is why we need the help of the Holy Spirit to have His joy. Many of us find it difficult to believe that God can increase our happiness, but as you read this book you will discover how He does just that! Get ready for an exciting trip! Your life will never be the same again.

A Joy to Learn

With God's gentle but persistent prodding, I began to realize that I grumbled about something at least a hundred times a day. When the spirit of grumbling ensnares us, we don't realize that it has become so much a part of our lives. I certainly didn't! I started off each day grumbling the moment I was jarred awake by the loud clanging of my alarm clock. I grumbled even before my eyes opened: "I wish I didn't have to get up so early, I muttered. Why do I have to get up so early all the time? It's not even five a.m.!" Then, stumbling to the bathroom, I grumbled at the growing number of aches and pains. At the mirror I saw how terrible I looked, then chided myself for wasting time on such foolishness. I needed to hurry or I would be late. The weather, too, caused me to grumble. It was always too cold or too hot. Everything was too this or too that. I didn't verbalize all my complaints, of course, but grumbled away in my thoughts and in my heart. I was firmly and painfully ensnared in Satan's "grumbling trap." And I was displeasing God.

God persistently guided me to scriptures such as, Rejoice in the Lord always (PH. 4:4), but I was slow to heed and learn. I certainly was not a living example of an always rejoicing Christian. It was easy to excuse myself though - everyone I knew grumbled. Most did so aloud. Fortunately, God didn't permit me to get away with such excuses. More and more I saw that I did not measure up to God's standard for His people. But how to change? Step-by-step He persuaded me to try, and I could not resist His loving insistence. Perhaps this book is God's loving insistence to you. Maybe you, too, have become an accomplished grumbler without even realizing it. Start listening to your thoughts. How frequently do you express the attitude, "I am not happy, so I am not rejoicing." Seeing ourselves as grumblers is painful. But out of the pain comes hope. As we learn how to receive new instruction from God, we realize that He is helping us become the happy person that He wants us to be. Soon we see a smile on our face when we look in the mirror. We can actually feel a desire to tell God how happy we are over the new joy He is helping us to find. Praise to God that comes from the heart puts a light in our eyes, a spring in our steps - and a blessed knowledge that God is actually working in us. What joy! What gladness to know that God is using each moment, whether pleasant or painful, to prepare us for our eternal dwelling place - Heaven. There will be no grumbling there! We must get ready. We can! And it is a joy to learn how.

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