‘Happy is that people, whose God is the Lord.’
Psalm 144 Verse 15
This verse caught my attention when reading it and I started to ponder what happiness meant for me as an individual and also what it meant for others.
Is happiness simply the realisation of our dreams and desires?
In my early ‘teens’ happiness meant scoring the winning goal for my football team or shooting a few ‘three pointers’ in a basketball match. My life revolved around sport and though I hated losing, I felt more disappointment at a match being abandoned due to bad weather than I did if I played and finished on the losing side.
My early twenties brought thoughts of finding the right girl, settling down, getting married, having children and a house that I could call my own.
Most of these things happened in my life yet ‘real happiness’ eluded me for some reason. It was always something I was striving for, yet never able to attain.
A newer car, a bigger house, a garage with a workshop, a holiday abroad or employment that I really enjoyed. These things seemed to be just around the corner and one day I would truly be satisfied. I aimed for the attainment of such things and I was convinced that having all these things would make me happy and contented.
I was wrong.
I had been deluded.
It seemed that I had an appetite for vanity that always left me wanting.
My idea of happiness changed when I changed and became a Christian. The first few months of my Christian walk brought happiness beyond anything I could ever have imagined. Jesus filled a great void in my life and for a while I could do no wrong.
It would not be long though before vanity and pride would rear their ugly heads!
I remember a short while after I was converted that a strong desire for the ministry invaded my every waking moment. I dreamed of being the greatest preacher that this country has ever known. I would fill churches no matter where I preached. Invitations would flood in and sadly I would have to turn many away, such would be my popularity.
My reputation would spread across the Atlantic and to other foreign lands and churches would beg me to come and proclaim the Good News to them. Hundreds, no thousands would be saved, however I would be smart enough not to allow pride to spoil the party. I would have great boldness in proclaiming the Truth and every single day would be filled with joy.
If only God would make me great!
Thankfully His ways are not my ways.
The reality was totally different!
I preached to a congregation of nine people at the Prayer Meeting in the village of Melbost, Isle of Lewis and I was terrified!! I actually felt sorry for the people in front of me who had to listen to me.
Many a year has past since then. I have changed and so have my views on happiness.
There are things that I pray for on a daily basis for myself.
I always pray for wisdom and I always pray for knowledge. I pray for many other things as well, including those who are kind enough to read what I write here on this website.
More and more recently I have been praying for one other thing in my life. That is that today I would enjoy my God. This is a petition I believe that has come about through various experiences that I have gone through.
As I sit and write this I can honestly say that I am truly happy with my lot this day.
Have all my pains, debts, fears disappeared?
So I can say that I am happy?
Well I’m not exactly sure where or how to begin. The marvel of being a new creation in Christ Jesus was as fresh to my soul this morning as it was the day I first believed. The sins that so often weigh me down are washed clean in the blood of the Lamb.
As Christians it is always true that if we repent then God forgives our sins and that is wonderful. Yet we are not always AWARE of ‘being clean!’ We ask for forgiveness and pardon, and more often than not we acknowledge with our minds that God has forgiven us all our sins, yet we do not FEEL any different, we do not FEEL clean.
We go through the motions yet we lack the effect.
Many a day is spoiled in my Christian walk simply because I place more emphasis on my feelings than on faith. I like everyone else in this world want to experience the ‘feel good factor.’
Self and Satan may want me to look to my feelings but God wants me to face the facts of a crucified Christ and a redemption purchased through His precious blood. It is only if and when I fully accept Christ’s finished work and His atonement for my sins by faith that these ‘good feelings’ flood my soul.
I enjoy God today by revelling in what He has done for a sinner like me. I enjoy God for His comfort when times are hard. I enjoy God for the shelter He provides from the raging storms that so often afflict my soul. I enjoy God for the way in which He leads me day-by-day and step-by-step. I enjoy God as I converse with Him throughout each day and sometimes even through the night watches.
I enjoy God for the way in which He delivers me from the troubles and trials which daily beset me. I enjoy God for the peace He pours into my soul even when my situation seems hopeless. I enjoy God as I watch Him make crooked paths straight and rough places smooth. I enjoy God as He lifts me up when I have fallen.
I enjoy God because He never gives up on me despite all my faults and failings. I enjoy God because He never lets me down though I let Him down each day. I enjoy God because what I am experiencing now is but for a short period of time and is tainted with sin. The day will come when I shall see Him as He is and when that day comes it will never end.
I enjoy the reality of God in my life today more than anything else. My happiness is dependant not on my circumstances but on my relationship with Him. The more of God I have in my life the happier I am and today I have an yearning for more.
Now my friend I pray for your happiness.