How can believers have a more joyful and happier life? There are ways, but some of it depends on us and some of it depends on God.
Happy in Him
How can believers have a more joyful and happier life? There are ways, but some of it depends on us and some of it depends on God, so how can you be happy in this life? Well, the beginning of that pursuit is found, not in things, people, or in a place, but in a Person and that is Jesus Christ. When we trust in Christ, we can finally rest in the sovereignty of God; resting in the fact that whatever happens, good and bad, all things work out for our very best (Rom 8:28). The happiness of the world is fleeting; it comes and goes. That’s because happiness is based upon “happenings” and when what happens is not good, they lose their happiness, but when the believer runs into trouble, they can rest in Christ, knowing that this world today can’t compare with what’s coming (Rom 8:18). They are happy knowing that God’s got this, whatever “this” is.
Happy in Family
I have some of the fondest memories of when my daughter graduated from college and began working in the same profession her mother worked in for decades (teaching). Then, the other child followed in his grandfather’s and father’s profession, and that is a call to the pastorate. When I think back to the times they were young, it always makes me happy. The times my daughter and I jumped into a leaf pile; the tea parties; and the time she painted my fingernails pink. She loved it. You might think daddy didn’t like it, but it was one of the most joyful times of our daddy-daughter times. She laughed herself to tears when mom said, “Daddy looks pretty.” I had to laugh too.
When my son was young, we went to the park. That’s where we use to play “crash dummies.” That sounds worse than it was, but we sat next to each other on the swings and would occasionally (sometimes on purpose!) crash into each other. No one was ever hurt doing this unless our sides hurt from laughing too hard. To me, that is true happiness, but I had to make time to do this. We know that happiness is not found in things but in people. First and foremost in the Person of Christ, but happiness is not so much found inside you; it’s found in others. Having a loving, lasting, and meaningful relationship is what families are all about.
We can be happy in Christ but we can also have the joy of the Lord. That’s a true source of strength (Neh 8:10), but unlike happiness (which depends on happenings), joy is permanent fixture for the Christ. That’s because Jesus has given this joy to His believers…and we’re not to lose it. This is joy is not of human origin, but is from Jesus Christ Himself. The disciples were grieving the fact that Jesus was going way, but Jesus said “you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy” (John 16:20), and even though “you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you” (John 16:24). That is the joy that remains in us; the joy of knowing Jesus.
The late Prince of Preachers, Charles Spurgeon said, “To be a soul winner is to be the happiest thing in life…” People have told me, and I can testify to the fact that, one of the greatest joys on earth is to bring people to saving faith in Christ. To be a soul winner is unlike anything else. There is joy in heaven, we know, but we rejoice right here on earth too! Of course, God does the saving (John 6:44), but He is pleased to use His children as a means to His ends, and that is share Christ so that some may be saved. That brings both joy and happiness to the recipient and the one sharing Christ. It’s a win-win!
The Joy Before Us
How did Jesus endure so much suffering and yet keep His focus on the kingdom and sill manage to keep His joy? The author of Hebrews answers that question by telling us to be “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb 12:2). If you live with the joy that we have now and what joy it will be someday, it will help keep your joy and remain happily contented. Thinking forward, into the coming kingdom, can serve to renew our minds; that is, as long as our eyes are fixed upon Jesus (Rev 21:1-2).
The Coming Glory
I believe no one has a suffering resume like the Apostle Paul. He apparently suffered more than all the other apostles. He said he endured “far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure” (2nd Cor 11:23-27). Even through all that, Paul never lost his joy, saying, “The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed forever” (2nd Cor 11:30). That’s praising God in the storm!
Praise Him in the Storm
How could the Apostle Paul endure so much suffering for Jesus’ sake? He knew that “that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Rom 8:18). Imagine the day that he finally saw Jesus Christ in Person…in the kingdom? That’s coming for us too my friends. The suffering we face today will not compare with the glory that’s coming tomorrow.
There no greater joy after we are born again than to participate in the birthing process of other people. God is the source of their new birth (John 3:4-8), but we can be “midwives” and be witnesses to it. There isn’t just joy in us but in heaven too when even one sinner repents (Luke 15:7). We all should be happy and full of joy just thinking about Jesus coming. I hope this can help you in your life to look forward to the amazing joy that is coming someday; to finally see what that glory will be like would be too hard for me to describe in words. Even now I crave that kingdom’s coming, for “we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies” (Rom 8:22-23).
Here is some related reading for you: How Can I Get My Joy Back?
Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Tagged as:Happiness, happy, Joy, Joyfulness