For some people, happiness seems to be automatic, while for others it’s elusive and never really seems to appear.
When we read about the apostle Paul in the Bible one may think… how can this dude always be so happy? Picking up at Philippians 4:4, Paul writes…
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”
Those 11 words speak a wealth of wisdom… to anyone who’s listening…
Paul says Rejoice twice in this brief passage, ending it in an exclamation point. How often does that happen in the Bible (maybe this is really important?)
While in jail Paul is writing to encourage Christians to find Joy whatever the circumstances. That’s hard to imagine, right? How could he be so comfortable, so at ease being in jail… and at the same time… offering encouragement to others?
What’s wrong with this picture?
Paul was able to find contentment and happiness whatever the circumstances.
Paul was “fertile soil,” if you will… his heart was open to and ready for the Holy Spirit to live in and breathe through him.
Paul unequivocally knew that no matter what happened to him that Jesus was right there beside him.
That’s what defined happiness for Paul.
Here’s some food for thought on finding happiness…
- what are your expectations?
Think of anything more than the air that we breathe as abundance… and something to be thankful for.
- what makes you happy?
Being truthful with oneself about what we live our life for. Are we living from the inside out?
- how does your day start/end?
do you often go to bed angry, or wake up in a fury?
- what’s really going on deep down inside your soul?
Make an honest appraisal of who and Who’s you are.
- what’s around you?
When you look around, what (and who) do you see?
- where did you come from?
Are there parts of your past that haunt you, that you regret and need to let go and seek forgiveness?
- where are you going?
Are your days filled with anxiety or worry about the future?
I would encourage you to open the eyes of your heart and let Jesus in… and your soil will turn fertile and happiness will grow.
How do you find or define happiness in your life?
Going Places is the blog series focusing on where God is leading us. It may include travel destinations, but doesn’t have to. This series is open to guest bloggers. If you would like to submit a guest post please contact me.
Jesus is my source of joy (Jesus–Others–Yourself); happiness I find in my family and in writing. Writing about Jesus and family? Wow…now that’s a reason for an exclamation point, Paul! Thanks for this great post, Chris.
I’ve always thought that happiness and joy are two separate things. Althought, being joyful often leads to much more happiness. What say you, Chris? 🙂
I say that I’d really like to know the enduring happiness that we find through true joy! Thank you Carol and Keri for these thoughtful comments 🙂