Have you ever noticed that your personal happiness in your life & accomplishments here on earth is short lived? The “life” that our accomplishments give us – the joy they give us seems to wane rapidly.
As a salesperson, the largest Purchase Order I ever landed was from Target, the retailer. I worked on it for weeks and weeks. And then I finally saw the Purchase Order come over the fax. It was for over $2,000,000! Wow.
The commission was huge! Like really huge. It was the largest commission check I had ever received.
Guess how long I was excited and found personal happiness in my great accomplishment & commission?
1 Year? 6 Months? 3 Months? 20 Days?
I was excited for about 2 days.
Then, the excitement and happiness wore off. I was on to the next thing, the next thrill, the next attempt at more joy and happiness.
A friend of mine shared with me that the word happiness comes from the 14th century era English word “hap”. Hap is where we get our word “happenstance”. Happenstance comes to us based on circumstances or events turning out well. In other words, happiness is based on our circumstances and whether they turn out to our liking.
Happy things happen…we’re happy. Sad things happen, we’re sad. It’s an up and down rollercoaster with happiness. Do you ever feel like you’re on a roller coaster of happiness and sadness…all based on your circumstances? If so, you are probably like a lot of other people.
Like you, I like being happy. But it’s so fleeting…and it’s also very much tied to what happens around me.
I think the better concept is joy and inner peace.
As followers of Christ, we are to have joy. Joy and peace deep down inside. No matter if we make a $2,000,000 sale or a $10 sale, we can have joy. No matter if we are appreciated at the office or not, we can have deep joy. We can have an inner joy even when things are turning against us.
Joy because we know that we are sons and daughters of the King of the universe. We are his precious, beloved and adored children. That is a joyful reality and it’s one that lasts. Our relationship with Christ brings eternal joy and peace. His Spirit lives inside us to encourage us and give us peace.
I Peter 1: 8-9 says (NIV) Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Yes, there will be times of grief and turmoil in our lives. During those times it would be hard to be “joyful” in a sense. But the abiding peace that comes with the joy we have as sons and daughters of the King of the universe transcends even the worst circumstances.
There’s a reasons for the trials we face.
James 1: 2-3 says (NIV) Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
A dear friend of mine just experienced the death of his wife of nearly 37 years due to cancer. He was very sad, of course. He will definitely miss his sweet wife. But through the ordeal most of his life was peaceful and joyful. Not laughing-joy-filled, but an abiding peace-joy-filled kind of life. He knew she was headed to heaven and that confidence gave him a peace and inner joy that is rarely, if ever, found in those that do not follow Christ.
I encourage you today to not rely on the “happenings” of this world to bring joy and happiness. It’s nice when we get physical or relational blessings from circumstances, but the “life” they give is short-lived.
The life Christ gives is sustaining and everlasting. Let’s keep our eyes on Jesus (the author and finisher of our faith) and remember His promises to us – His presence and His love. It’ll make your day and week better – even if you don’t land a $2,000,000 deal.