The Pursuit of Happiness
Does God want us to be happy or joyful?
Who hasn’t heard this song (Pherrell’s Happy)? Who’s heard it so many times you hope to never hear it again? For most of us, it’s a mood altering song that you could listen to over and over again. The notion of happiness can be intoxicating, and the pursuit of happiness, a dead end. You probably heard the recent tragic account of a 32-year-old woman from North Carolina who died in a head on collision just seconds after posting on Facebook that the happy song made her happy. A reminder to all of us that nothing is so important that it can’t wait until we get to our destination. And a reminder that happiness isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be.
Happy or Joyful???
Does God want us to be happy or joyful? What’s the difference? Both are dependent on something. Happiness is dependent on circumstances. Joy is dependent on our relationship with God. Happiness is based on external factors.
Joy is based on internal factors. Happiness is fleeting. Joy is lasting. Happiness is a feeling. Joy is an attitude. Could it be possible that we actually experience more joy when we’re under fire? Consider Psalm 28:7,
”The Lord is my Strength and my impenetrable Shield; my heart trusts in, relies on Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song will I praise Him.” (AMP).
Corrie Knows Things
As much as I enjoyed making my happy jib jab, I’ll forget about it in a few weeks. You’ve already forgotten about it. You know what I’ll never forget. I’ll never forget walking into my war torn home after my divorce. Most of the furniture was gone. The house was a mess. All that was left was an old TV. I sat on the hard cold floor and cried.
When I was tired of crying I mindlessly flipped on the TV. The end of The Hiding Place was on. The Hiding place is an incredible movie about Corrie ten Boom and her family. Believers that courageously hid Jews during the Holocaust and ended up in concentration camps themselves. Corrie survived horrors that I could never imagine. I sat there on that cold dark floor and I cried. I cried because the movie was sad. I cried because my dream of a happy family was over. I cried because I knew I couldn’t sit there all night and cry – as much as I wanted to. Before I picked myself up off the floor, after the movie credits had scrolled, Corrie Ten Boom – the real Corrie Ten Boom came on the screen. She leaned in and with a knowing sparkle in her eyes and a quiet confident voice, she said this…
“No pit is so deep that He is not deeper still. With Jesus, even in our darkest moments, the best remains. And the very best is yet to be.” It was as if she was right there in the room with me — looking right at me. I knew, those words were straight from the heart of God, through Corrie, directly to me. I knew God was right there in the room sitting with me on that cold dark floor. And at that moment, I was reminded, I knew, everything is going to be okay.
That’s it. That’s the good news, the very words this world needs to hear.
There is no pit so deep that He is not deeper still. And it’s usually in the deepest darkest pits that Jesus shows up. You hear his voice. You recognize it. And a peace washes over you from head to toe that cannot be defined by anything else other than inexpressible joy. In Christ, I am never alone. You are never alone. And Corrie got it right, the icing on the cake, when she said, “With Jesus, even in our darkest moments, the best remains. And the very best is yet to be.” I’m here to tell you Corrie was right!
What I’ve Learned
It may take a long time, maybe even a lifetime for people, places and things to change. But here’s what I’ve learned, those people, places and things that bring me to my knees, draw me closer to God and that’s where the joy is. I change, as I get closer to Him! And things do get better – just not always the way that I had planned. I’ve learned the hard way, His plan was and is far better than my own. It’s true, the best remains, and the very best is yet to be. Hang on sister; it gets a whole lot better! Now we’re talkin? room without a roof!
What’s JoyReel all about? Good news! It’s about my story, your story, God’s story. It’s a place to be reminded that the joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10).
Want to go deeper on today’s topic? Hit pause and download the study. You can study it throughout the week on your own or grab a few friends and go through it together.
Thanks for watching and don’t forget to share your joy!