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Written by Jimmie Burroughs Email to a friend
We all prefer happiness in our life over unhappiness, sadness and grief, and we try to arrange the circumstances that bring happiness into our life. However, the things that we think make us happy often backfire and cause grief instead. For example, a drink of an alcohol beverage will take the edge off our stress and give a bit of happiness, but one drink leads to another and then another until there is no happiness just a dulled brain, and a hangover the next day. If you could learn how to experience an accelerating feeling consistently without the outside stimulus would you be interested? If so read on.
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What is happiness?
Happiness comes from the word happenstance, happen + (circum)stance. Certain happenings that result from circumstances produce happiness. That is why happiness is never consistent because circumstances change at a rapid pace bringing with them not only happiness but also grief, sadness, anxiety, worry, fear and stress. When our happenstance is good, then our happiness is good. When happenstance is bad the opposite is true….there is sadness or depression.
That is why life is often described as a roller coaster. Life is full of valleys and peaks. The peaks represent the high times, and the valleys the low times. Circumstances are the happenings outside us and often outside our control. It is like walking down the street and finding a 20 dollar bill. That makes us happy, but further down the street we stump our toe and fall down and break a leg. This requires a trip to the hospital emergency room which after a lot of pain and several hundred dollars worth of medical bills we are very unhappy. That is life; it is like a roller coaster filled with ups and downs.
What if you could have the feeling of being happy that wasn’t like a roller coaster and wasn’t dependent on happenstance, or outside stimuli, but instead came from your inner self and was consistent regardless of the circumstances? That is called joy.
What is joy?
Joy is of the Lord. When the angels announced the birth of Jesus the savior to the shepherds on the Judean hillside they said, “…Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people”, Luke 2:10. The joy they were talking about was the result of Jesus coming to the world and offering forgiveness for sin and eternal life to those who would receive it.
Jesus said to his disciples, “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full”, John 15:11. What things was Jesus talking about? He was saying that in order to experience his joy you must follow him; you must abide in him and him in you (receive him as Lord and savior), and be his disciple:
Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean [redeemed] because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full”, John 15:1-11.
The Christian joy comes from Christ who dwells within. That is why it is a consistent joy. There is, however, one requirement and that is that we must be in his service bearing fruit for his glory. The fruit is the fruit of God’s indwelling Holy Spirit as listed in Galatians 5:22. “For the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, faith, meekness and temperance.” Those things are the virtues that define the believer who is obedient to God in service. Think about it…love, joy and peace is what we all want, but it can only be found in Jesus on a consistent basis.
Quite often we hear of a famous, rich person who has taken their own life, as the former front man for Fleetwood Mac last week, and it makes us wonder why since they seem to have everything to live for. The answer is that what they have does not fulfill the expectations they longed for from the beginning and that is the love, joy and peace mentioned above. The world is deceived into believing that if they can somehow acquire everything they want, it will give them fulfillment for the rest of their life. When they discover that it doesn’t, they become even more despondent, and for many they had rather give it up and die.
All humanity has been on a quest from the beginning to discover what it is that will give them the fulfillment they long for, little realizing that it is God. There is a vacuum in the heart of man that cannot be filled by anything else other than God’s presence to produce the purpose and fulfillment that man longs for. I’m happy to say that you can have the presence of God in your live if you desire. Click here to learn more.
About the author: Jimmie Burroughs is a motivational speaker and author who has been involved in teaching Christian Personal Development for more than 30 years. There are hundreds of articles to help you on this website, Website Contents , in your person growth. Be sure to take vantage of the FREE offer to get the “Personal Development” eBook while available.
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