The Problem with Happiness

Happiness is a fleeting emotion, easily interrupted by negative thoughts, words and actions. Humans can experience the switch between the heights of euphoria and the depths of depression in a matter of seconds.

When we seek happiness in circumstance, people, events, pets, career, home, gardens, hobbies, church, etc. we are continually elated and then disappointed.

In disappointment, we even give in to fear, anxiety and feel apprehensive when we consider more than the one moment of time which we are experiencing.

Fear will dispel happiness quicker and put us into a deeper depression than any other emotion, especially if we suppress the anger, which we feel along with it.

We have the right to pursue happiness, but we cannot maintain it. There is good news in the midst of this negative prognosis, however.

We can continually dwell in an emotion much deeper than happiness. This emotion is not contingent on circumstance and is spiritual and depends solely on the presence of God in our life.

This deep seated emotion is also our strength to traverse the negative path in life, which we occasionally experience. There is no earthly issue, which can ever shake us from this positive outlook on life. It is called JOY.

If we choose to focus on the negative circumstances, or if we adopt a negative attitude, our joy will hover just outside of our soul, waiting in our spirit for us to change our focus to the joy, which is always set before us (Hebrews 12:2).

The world-wide Body of Christ, both in times present and past, is an example of a people who love and joyfully trust our amazing God for His constant provision, even during dire circumstances.

Prayer:
Father God, You reach down Your arms and hold us until our grief and fears are gone (Psalm 68:5). You walk within us and guide us through the depths of grief, distress and insecurity. Regardless of the negative circumstances, Your peace and joy are our constant companions.

You love each of us the same amount and in the same way, regardless of our sinful past. We are confident of Your continual, unconditional love for us (John 3:16-17). We can never thank You enough for continually filling us with Your presence and Spirit, and for helping us to maintain a heavenly mindset rather than a carnal, earthly one.

Thought for the Day:
Our constant joy depends on our focus on the eternal Christ and our attitude of total dependence on His perfect will for our life.

That Feeling of Intimacy

So many people tell me that they no longer feel God’s intense presence like they once did, and they want that feeling back. They say that God left them alone in the wilderness, and they cannot find His presence. This is impossible. God lives within us (Colossians 1:27). There is no way that He would ever leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).

If we do not feel His presence it is for one of two reasons. Maybe we sinned and grieved the Holy Spirit. When this happens, God turns His back because He cannot look upon sin (Habakkuk 1:13). The other reason is that He is enjoying some companionable silence with us; and in our insecurity, we fail to realize that He is still and always will be right here within us.

God is constantly near us. He sees us no matter where we are or what we are doing (Psalm 139:8). He fills the heavens and earth, and this includes the lives of those who put their trust in Him (Jeremiah 23:23-24). The first step in restoring our intimacy is to allow God’s Spirit to search our heart (Psalm 139:23-24). He will point out to us any idol or sin, which is blocking the connection between Him and us.

The second step is to relax and enjoy God’s companionable silence. We do not need goose bumps, constant revelation from His Word or His still, small voice within us in order to believe that He is with us. We have His promise that He is there, and that is all we really need. Rather than seeking a feeling, just spend time praising God, because our connection with Him can never be lost.

Prayer:
Father God, You inhabit the praises of Your people (Psalm 22:3). There is no quicker way to connect to Your presence in us than to praise You with an obedient heart full of gratitude and trust. Remind us that once we are free from unconfessed sin, empty of all known idols and trusting in Your goodness, we will bask in the waterfall of Your love, which You pour over those who rest in Your will.

Thought for the Day:
Never allow Satan to convince you that this perceived “dry spell” means that God is withholding His presence from you; confess known sin and then enjoy His companionable silence by sitting still and knowing that He is Your God now and forever. – Psalm 46:10