First, just let me say that I am not an unhappy person. I have plenty of reasons to consider myself among the happy and the blessed. But I’m really starting to realize, that perhaps it’s not happy that I should strive towards. Happiness is an emotion. Happiness is how I feel. Now my feelings have gotten me in plenty of hot water over the years, so I’m trying not to let feelings determine how I see my life, myself.
One of my fave authors and Jesus girls is Lysa TerKeurst. She speaks to me. Well, Jesus through her speaks to me. Anyway…. one of the statements she’s released from her new book, “Unglued” says this: “Feelings should be indicators, not dictators.” Profound, right? So, if you take that statement and truly think on it, you have to come up with the conclusion that happiness (as an emotion) isn’t the end-all, be-all.
This is where the idea for this blog springs from – this idea that happiness isn’t the measuring stick for life. Since I’m an American, that’s a bit hard to really grasp. I’ve been brought up on the notion of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” It’s right there in our nation’s “We the People”!
Of course, as a Christian, being more like our Creator is the finish line. But how do I know that I not only identify myself with him but that I KNOW Him? I think it lies in joy.
“…in your presence there is fullness of joy.” – Psalms 16:111
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control.” Galatians 5:22
“Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” John 16:24
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds…” James 1:2
And God’s Word goes on and on about joy. According to Bible Gateway, the NIV version of the Bible has 244 instances where joy is mentioned in some form. I don’t know about you, but I am not naturally inclined to be happy in the hard times. I have been known to be downright UNhappy when situations don’t go my way, when life isn’t fair. But yet, we’re supposed to be set apart and full of joy.
So, here’s my journey from me to joyful.