I'm Not Happy

Every heard anyone say that?  "I'm not happy."

Well, I have.  My daughter has said it,  My wife has said it.  My friends have said it.  People in my church have said it.  My enemies have said it.  In fact, I can't think of anyone who hasn't.

Including myself.

What is happiness?  According to Mr. Webster. "...feeling or showing pleasure or contentment."

I'm happy after eating a slice of my mom's German Chocolate Cake
I'm happy after enjoying time with my family.
I'm happy when someone reaches a life goal they have worked hard for.

But happiness can be a form of idolatry if you are not careful.

People will say, "You should be happy!"  Like it is a right.  It isn't.  It is a choice.  But how you make your choices says a lot about what who you worship and why.  Do you know anyone who goes out of their way to be happy?  They spend until they are happy.  They control others until they are happy.  They have a life-controlling problem and abuse it until they are happy.  They party until they are happy.  

All of this falls under the category.  If it feels good, do it.  After all, it's my right to be happy.  Therefore, if my spouse doesn't make me happy I have the right to divorce them.  If my family doesn't make me happy, I have the right to abandon them.  You see where this is going?  

Happiness is a fickle thing that seems to play a bad game of hide-and-seek with you.  Why?  Because our culture spends billions of dollars defining what makes you happy.  But this.  Do that.  Practice this.  Meditate on that. Go here, no there.  This doesn't make you happy anymore but this will!  You didn't know that you weren't happy until they told you.  

Bottom line: Happy is draining.

Nehemiah 8:10 .....for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Chasing happiness is draining.  But seeking joy gives you strength.

What is joy?  Joy is an emotion that’s acquired through expectation.  It could be described as rejoicing, being exceedingly glad.  While there are times that I can be happy I have to remember that this will pass.  The reason will fade and so will the emotion attached to it.

But joy never leaves because it is attached to something eternal.  Jesus and His love for me.  It doesn't matter what is going on in your life at the moment because Jesus never changes.  When you place your hope in Him every day your reason to have joy never fades.

So what are you seeking today?  Happiness or Joy? 

PRAY:  Dear Jesus, I've been chasing happiness to long.  Teach me to have joy instead.  AMEN