Tuesday, February 11, 2014

How to be happy with life, no matter what ...

Are you happy?

The average person bases their answer to that question on one key thing --- their current circumstances.

And that's why they're often unhappy.

God never intended our happiness or the quality of our life to be determined by life's shifting circumstances. The rain falls on the just and the unjust; we will have times of comfort, peace, and plenty, and times of trials, tribulations, and need. Regardless of our circumstances, it is possible to consistently live in such a way that we are content and fulfilled with our lives.

How?

The Apostle Paul reveals to us this grand secret ...

"How I praise the Lord that you are concerned about me again. I know you have always been concerned for me, but you didn't have the chance to help me. Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength," Philippians 4:10-13.

Most of us can handle the "with plenty" part of life's circumstances, but don't do as well with the "or little" part, often missing that what we have at the moment can be sufficient.

We live more like the man who was envious of his friends because they had larger, more luxurious homes. So he listed his house with a real estate firm with the plans to sell it and purchase a more impressive home. Shortly afterward, as he was reading the classified section of the local newspaper, he saw an ad for a house that seemed just right for him. He promptly called his realtor and said, "A house described in today's paper is exactly what I'm looking for. I would like to go through it as soon as possible!" The agent asked him several questions about it and then replied, "But sir, that's your house you're describing!"

When we make our happiness or quality of life about our immediate circumstances, we give away our ability to be content and at peace, to be happy and fulfilled. But when we make the quality of our life completely about who Jesus Christ is to us, circumstances then lose their power over our happiness and fulfillment. It's no wonder, then, that Jesus gave us this instruction:

"Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need," Matthew 6:33.

Are you wobbling between happy and unhappy as your circumstances shift? Or have you discovered the contentment and joy in Christ that persists in any situation?

Scotty

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