Ask a dozen people what brings happiness and you’ll probably get a dozen different answers. Here are a few common replies:
- Financial security
- Physical health
- Family harmony
- A dream job
- A dream spouse
- World peace
Finding happiness in any or all of the above is totally okay, but trouble comes if we depend on them for happiness. Circumstances change, people change, the weather changes, the world changes. If these things on which we base our happiness change, then our emotional state goes through an upheaval, too.
So where can true happiness be found? In doing life God’s way. Psalm 119:35 says, “Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found.” It doesn’t say, “Give me a nice house in a nice neighborhood, for that is where my happiness is found.” Neither does it say, “Give me good health, for that is where my happiness is found,” nor “Give me a family without dysfunction, for that is where my happiness is found.”
Nope. Happiness is found when we do life God’s way. That doesn’t mean we’ll be problem-free. It doesn’t mean we won’t take the fallout from someone else’s issues. It doesn’t mean we’ll never suffer sorrow or pain or loss. But doing life God’s way guarantees the ability to deal well with all of the above. It gives freedom from guilt. It gives us the strength to forgive, and to face our fears. It gives us peace in the midst of storms.
When our relationship with Jesus is on par and we’re doing life His way, then we experience happiness—a deep, settled sense of well-being no matter what. If we lose that sense of well-being, we might find it helpful to ask ourselves, “Have I strayed from the path of God’s commands? If so, how have I strayed, and what must I do to return?”
The answer might sound something like this:
- “I’ve strayed in my thought life. I’m focused on my fears rather than on God’s promised presence. I need to ensure my thoughts linger on truth rather than on what-ifs.”
- “I’ve strayed in my ambition. I’m more concerned about making money or building a name for myself than about following God’s purpose for my life. I need to relinquish self-ambition and ask Him to give me His dreams for my future.”
- “I’ve strayed in my attitude toward a difficult family member or coworker. I’m harboring a hurt and not wanting to forgive. I need to ask God to help me see this person through His eyes and extend forgiveness as He’s forgiven me.”
Where’s true happiness found? Walking on the path of God’s commands. Let’s stay there, friends. And should we wander from it, let’s be intentional about returning.
#bgbg2 #devotions #Happiness
This verse from Psalm 119 is so true. When obeying God’s commands, we are on the right path. Things still happen, and we can learn to still follow on that pathway, which he has shown us. It takes practice to stay on it, and to not wobble off or look elsewhere. This is what God is teaching me. It has not been fun, but I can see it’s better, and like the pathway through the forest, there are blessings on the way…….trees and flowers, quiet and peacefulness….and real sense of God being with us. He knows just what we need, and where to we should step. He promised to hold us up and to not let our foot to slip. He promised to never leave us alone.
I love the picture.
I can trust God more and more (and then I find that I am happier with people)
Whether or not we stay on the path is our choice, yes? God won’t force us to stay on the path, but if we choose to leave it, then we shouldn’t be surprised if we lose our way
I love that you pointed out the blessings along the physical path–the trees and flowers, quiet and peacefulness, etc. And so it is along the spiritual path–the blessings of joy and peace, forgiveness, purpose, and more.
To think that we can trust God and He is right here within us and around us; it’s almost like being hidden away or enveloped by him and that sweet, and dear sense of his love makes us smile, feeling like an adored and thoroughly loved child lacking nothing. Daddy.
Beautiful summary, Marge. Thank you for your comments. 🙂
The Lord Reigns.
Grace: I detect something happening within my spirit now. Thank-you for your kindness and concern. If you will bear with me a little longer, I would like to press a point. Grace, I wanted so much to belong, to be part of, to work together with a group….one of them…….I wanted that so badly that I believe that’s where my weak point was, and why I was so intensely hurt.
This is the first time in my life I have wanted this much to be part of something, other than my personal home life. This is the same lot who told me to leave the Sunday School after I’d been helping in there for almost one whole year. (while I was there, I was always told that they were so thankful for my help, and I was given gifts and cards, and encouraging notes). Behind the scenes, they were meeting to find ways to boost me out. I suffered then too, and when my husband went in to see them, to ask what could have gone wrong…..they denied everything.
I wanted to leave that place, and yet our children were happy there. They do well there. I wanted to ask you something: The way I feel now, I feel it must have been wrong or out of place for me to want to be part of them to the extent that I did. Could it be that it simply isn’t the place that “I” am supposed to be? I’ve gone over and over this. I don’t want to belong there now, and I have come to know the Father’s love. He is not disappointed with me, etc. I feel that it is not where God wants me to be.
Marge, a counselor once told me that, when we’ve suffered hurtful experiences, healing begins when we acknowledge what happened and how it affected us. It sounds like you’ve done that. Now you can move forward, I trust, in freedom and peace. Perhaps asking yourself these questions might be helpful:
* What did I learn as a result of being in that place?
* How am I a stronger person as a result of my experience?
* How can God use my experience for His glory now?
Thank-you Grace. I am going to take these questions and take a few days (or weeks) and I will sit down with them and I will write out on paper at a table (with my tea), as much as I can as the answers come to me.
I appreciate the time you’ve taken with me and how you gave me something to ponder……meditate, and how you have helped me “see”.
I so love your pages with the pictures and scripture. Thank-you. Grace.