I want to share with you guys an article that I read from Dr. Harold Sala. God bless!
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. Hebrews 13:5-6, KJV
“Unable to conceive of a God who does not regard human happiness as the be-all and end-all of creation,” said Christopher Lasch, “the practitioners of ‘I’m OK, You’re OK’ spirituality cannot accept the central paradox of religious faith: that the secret of happiness lies in renouncing the right to be happy.” Do you agree?
“Don’t worry–be happy!” says the host of a popular radio program talk show. And why not? Doesn’t everybody want to be happy? As Robert Louis Stevenson wrote, “The world is so full of a number of things, I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.”
But the fact is, we are not always happy. Some way, we’ve been convinced that
1. Happiness is an attainable goal, and that 2. When you have certain things–usually associated with power, wealth, or achievement–you will be happy.
How would you finish this statement: “If I just had __________________ I would be happy!”
If I just got married, I’d be happy
If I could just get these creditors off my back, I’d be happy.
If my health improved, I’d be happy.
If I just had a better figure I would be happy.
If I could just get ______ to look at me, I’d be happy.
If I had that promotion, I’d be happy.
It’s the condition of “if,”–“If this would happen,” or “If I could have (whatever), I’d be happy.”
Happiness in life is conditional. It is usually dependent on your circumstances, your environment, your achievements, and pleasure. Like a beautiful sunset that gradually fades into dusk, happiness is usually momentary and fleeting. Has our culture placed far too much emphasis on happiness as a “right” which we deserve? Have we bought into the mentality that God owes us a chunk of happiness, and if we aren’t happy, then it’s His fault?
Question: Are we being misled today by those who suggest that happiness is part of the birthright of all God’s children, and if you are not happy, is God indeed withholding something important, something to which you are rightfully entitled?
One of the last articles which came from the pen of Cambridge professor C. S. Lewis was entitled, “We have No Right to Happiness.” Said Lewis, “A right to happiness doesn’t make much more sense than a right to be six feet tall, or to have a millionaire for a father, or to get good weather whenever you want to have a picnic.” Though the article basically attacked the impulse to walk out on an unhappy marriage because of what people consider to be their “right to happiness,” Lewis went beyond that. He said that though “our technological skill may help us to survive a little longer, our civilization will have died at heart and will be swept away” when happiness becomes our driving quest and goal in life.
There is something far more important than happiness–it is joy, and happiness is the world’s substitute. What the difference? Try these for size.
• Happiness is dependent on circumstances; joy transcends them. (You can be joyful when you aren’t happy).
• Happiness involves your environment–your home, your money, your friends, your health; but joy is internal; it comes from within.
• Happiness is usually temporary (nothing stays forever) but joy abides and remains when beauty fades.
• Happiness has very little to do with God; joy has everything to do with Him.
• Happiness is material; joy is spiritual.
• Happiness involves your life here and now; joy includes both time and eternity.
A closing thought: When you find God, you discover joy, and when you joyfully do God’s will, you’ll stumble over happiness. No one is ever happier than being where God wants you—no matter where it is.
Resource reading: Hebrews 13:1-10.