I Just Want To Be Happy by Gary Ellis

Like sugar is sweet, we all want to be infected with large doses of happiness, right?

Nothing wrong with that.  Absolutely nothing.  It’s in our genes.

I can hear someone saying, “It’s not about happiness.  It’s about joy.”

Can we say, “COP-OUT!!??”

I don’t really care about the precision of word usage here.  The exactitude of accuracy in breaking words down to tiny fragments of meaning isn’t my purpose in this post.

What I care about is the fact that people have a legitimate desire to experience positive emotions that fills their outlook with some enthusiasm, courage, and hope.

Our natural world is a cesspool of tragedy, graft, and greed.  So was the one that Jesus entered when He was born in flesh into this world.  However, the Bible says He was anointed with joy even above all His brethren.  The scriptures also say that the joy of the Lord is our strength…and…the Kingdom of God (which is near us) is righteousness, peace, and joy.

(I hear someone saying, “Uh-huh…see…joy, not happiness.”>  <SMACK> <—-That’s the sound of me slapping you out of your argumentative religious bad self)
This isn’t a theological treatise here.  It’s an attempt at practical wisdom.  So, thanks for listening for the point instead of what sounds spiritual or not. 🙂

Reality Check:  Learning to feel happiness is not as much about being thankful that you got what you wanted, but being grateful when you get what you DON’T think you want.  It’s about making choices.  Lot’s of them.  Especially while a habit is being formed.  It’s about turning your back on judgment and embracing gratitude.

It will not be easy at first.  It will take practice.  But it’s more than worth it.  It’s an acquired taste.  It’s an established habit.  And, the payoff is HUGE in peace of mind and authentic feelings of happiness/joy whatever you choose to call it.

The Scriptures say, “Rejoice in the Lord always.  Again I say rejoice.”  (Philippians 4:4)  They also say, “In everything give thanks…” (Ephesians 5:20)  As a matter of fact you can hardly turn a page of your Bibles without seeing statements on rejoicing, thankfulness, and praise.

The only safe assumption is that God knows something we don’t know.  He knows how to experience the joy of the Lord that makes us strong.  On the flip side, the devil knows how to drain us of all strength through depression.  It’s important to realize that depression is a direct result of judging something, or someone, including yourself.

A man tells a story of being at a very low point in life.  He finally sat down and wrote God a letter.  He questioned, “Why would you let this happen to me??!!”  He heard these words, “Are you asking me for answers or are you just venting?”

We all do a lot of venting that doesn’t bring any solutions.  God knows the ways of inner life and death. We would do best to start listening.

Gary

Is It Worth It?

Have you ever asked that question?  Is it worth it?  Is all the struggle to do that which is right
really worth it?

I mean…I know God sees and rewards.  And, I don’t really do what I do for the “reward.”

But, in our weary moments…don’t we sometimes wonder, “Was it worth it?”

I read a true story today.  It’s from the archives of 911.  It inspired me and I hope it stirs up something
fresh in you.

“Today, after a 72 hour shift at the fire station, a woman ran up to me at the grocery store and gave me a hug.  When I tensed up, she realized I didn’t recognize her.  She let go with tears of joy in her eyes and the most sincere smile and said, “On 9-11-2001, you carried me out of the World Trade Center.” (Source)

It’s important to share our gratitude with those people that did something…or do things that change our lives.  What untold stories do you have that would encourage someone else?

Thank people…on purpose…for what they do.

Gary