I know this post may fit better in another category, but our home is where we lay down our guard and our “real self” comes forth. Our home is where our children watch us the closest, so that is why I decided to put this post in the homeschooling section of heaven bound homemaker.
Most people seem to be on one common quest in life: the quest for happiness…so they spend their lives chasing after happiness. The problem with people’s quest for happiness is that most people don’t understand that they are going about it all wrong.
God has much to say about being happy in the Bible. I counted the word “happy” 27 times in the King James Bible. God has used the word, “glad” around 90 times. The word, “Blessed” is used throughout the Bible so many times, I have not counted. Many times, the word, “Blessed” means extremely happy. For example, “Blessed (Extremely Happy) is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly…but his delight is in the law of the Lord…” (Psalm 1)
As Christians, we can choose to be happy in our circumstances.
Why? “The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.” (Psalm 126:3)
Do you believe that the Lord has done great things for you? He said it, so it is true. Knowing this fact is the beginning of choosing to be happy!
Think on the great things the Lord has done for you and smile with gladness.
Speaking of glad, the photo at the top right is a recent picture of the original Hoover family. In this photo, taken during the summer of 2012, our children were all married. “Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice.” (Proverbs 23:25) Yes, I am a blessed mother and I am glad.
Before I had children, I worked in a court house. I could not wait to say “Good Morning” to our aged, cranky bailiff. Why? Without fail, he would always say in his most cranky way, “What’s so good about it?” Then, he would gruffly look me in the eyes and wait for my reply. I knew old Mr. Bailiff’s bark was bigger than his bite.
I think Mr. Bailiff daily anticipated how I would answer his question. I was prepared each morning before Mr. Bailiff arrived to tell him just what was so good about the morning. I felt like Pollyanna playing the “Glad Game.” After I
explained a blessing I saw in that day, a faint smile would come across Mr. Bailiff’s face. I think he secretly liked hearing my positive reply each morning to his negative question.
As I mentioned, there seems to be one common quest in life for people: the search for happiness. Most people think, “I want to be happy!” Then, the chase for happiness is on. But there is a big problem! It seems the more “happiness” becomes our quest in life, the unhappier we become.
Many times, the quest for happiness leads to depression. Why?
1. Selfish Happiness can lead to depression, because it is not really happiness at all. It is all about me. “I want to be happy. I want everyone and everything to make me happy.” This type of happiness is dependent on the thinking, “I will be happy if…” Selfish happiness does not lead to true happiness, but can lead to a life of misery and depression. The problem with seeking happiness from people and circumstances is that we cannot control people and we cannot control circumstances. Therefore, happiness escapes us and depression finds us.
By the way, let us never give anyone the job of making us happy. Have we given our husband the job to make us happy? If so, “lay him off” from that expectation immediately! Have we given our children the job of making us happy? “Lay our children off” from the job of making us happy, right now! Expecting someone to make us happy is like putting poison in the relationship. Expecting someone to make us happy could kill the relationship.
When unhappiness appears in a marriage, some couples believe that divorce or another spouse will make them happy. Statistics show that those who were unhappy, but did not divorce were happier in their marriage five years later. Years later, for those who chose divorce, most wished they had not done so. They wished they had worked harder at their marriage relationship. They wished they had not made the unwise choice to divorce. The grass may look greener on the other side, but the grass grows very green over the septic tank.
The quest for selfish happiness is a blind guide in one’s life. Know this fact: Even a good husband cannot make us happy all the time. There is a “happy void” in everyone’s life that no person on earth can fill.
2. Temporary happiness can lead to depression because it is dependent on people and on my circumstances. For example, I am temporarily happy when I get a new outfit. Temporary happiness may be as a result of something good going on in our life. We are temporarily happy when we hold a newborn baby. The point is, we must remember that temporary happiness flits and
then flies away.
When feeling down, a lady I know will say that she needs “retail therapy.” I remember trying retail therapy, but it is extremely temporary and comes with a heavy price…that lands right on the credit card.
“the eyes of man are never satisfied.” Proverbs 27:20 We can only peek into the lives of the rich and famous to see how the quest over the wrong kinds of temporary happiness brings permanent misery. Chasing the illusion of what we think will make us happy will take us to a dead end.
Have you ever had the thought, “I would be happy if______________?” Don’t go there. Whatever the ________ is, it will not make you truly happy.
Have you ever wished your life away chasing happiness? “I will be happy when I am in high school. I will be happy when I am 21. I will be happy when I am married. I will be happy when I have children. I will be happy when I lose weight. I will be happy when my children get out of the preschool years. I will be happy when….”
We have just wished many years of our life away with the quest for happiness. We have lost out on the happiness of the moment. We can never get those moments back. We have allowed life to pass us by in our quest for happiness. Instead, purpose to get up every morning with a thankful heart. Thankful people are the happiest people. Ask the Lord to give you eyes to see the happiness in the moments of your day. Then, be on the “look out” for these happy moments to tell the Lord, “Thank You!”
~”How to be Happy in Your Circumstances (Part 2)” will be continued in the next post. The best is yet to come~