The Pryor Times


October 5, 2013

How to be happy

PRYOR, OK — Americans spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year on tranquilizers, trying to overcome depression, tension, uneasiness and unhappiness.  Ironically, the pursuit for joy and happiness usually leads to even greater unhappiness and sorrow.

Sometimes people will engage in sinful activities because they are looking for fun.  Satan makes sin appear desirable.  That causes temptation (James 1:14).  Moses realized that the pleasures of sin were only temporary, so he chose to suffer affliction with the people of God rather than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin (Hebrews 11:25).  Though sin may appear to be fun, in reality, it brings sorrow.

Jesus warns us in John 8:44 that Satan is a liar and the father of lies. Satan made the forbidden fruit look desirable to Adam and Eve, but after they ate of it, they felt guilty and tried to hide from God.  Judas thought the money he would receive for betraying Jesus would be worth it, but after betraying Him, he returned the money and killed himself.  Peter thought it would be in his best interest to deny Christ, but afterward he wept bitterly.  Although Satan can make sin look attractive, it brings untold sorrow.  

Searching for happiness often leads to selfishness.  Through the years, I have noticed that selfish people are generally the unhappiest people in the entire world.   Selfishness and misery go hand in hand.  Mark Twain said, “Grief can take care of itself; but to get the full value from joy, you must have somebody to divide it with.”  Paul wrote in Philippians 2:3, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.”  A person will never find joy and happiness until he learns to think more of others than he does himself.

Sometimes people expect to find happiness in things or gadgets.  They think they would be happy if only they had a new car or a new boat or the fulfillment of some dream.  I John 2:15 says, “Do not love the world or the things in the world.”  People often become slaves of things.  Things do not satisfy; they only make us want more.

God’s word provides the key to happiness.  Jesus said in John 15:11, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.”  Later, John wrote in 1 John 1:4, “And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.”  The Bible provides the secrets of great joy.

There is no greater source of joy than to be a child of God.  When we believe and obey God’s word, we become His children.  I John 3:1 says, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!”  The blessings and benefits of being God’s children are beyond comprehension.

In 1 John 2:25, John writes, “And this is the promise that He has promised us – eternal life.”  The promise of heaven brings great joy.  Heaven will be much more beautiful than earth.  Every tear will be wiped away from our eyes.  Death, sorrow, crying, and pain will be replaced by love, joy, peace, kindness, and goodness.

John also writes in 1 John 3:3, “And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”  No one can be genuinely happy without hope.  Joy is diminished by the presence of fear and uncertainty.  Because of hope, happiness does not depend upon circumstances.

Hope brings peace of mind.  With what Paul referred to as a peace that surpasses all understanding, he could be happy under any conditions (Philippians 4:7-11).  If we live by God’s word, we can experience the same joy and happiness today.

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