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Nov 4

Happiness IS Possible

Posted on Monday, November 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

We fantasize “if I ___, then I’d be happy.”

We worry that we won’t be.

Yesterday I heard Peter Haas wisely say, “Happiness is a spiritual problem not a circumstantial problem.”

Too often many of us fall into a spiritual funk when our circumstances take a turn for the worst:
– Why did God allow my child to get sick?
– Why did God allow my business to fail?
– Where is God when my pain is so bad?
– Where’s God’s love when I’m feeling so alone?

“Don’t equate the presence of God with a good mood or a pleasant temperament”, wrote Max Lucado. “God is near whether you are happy or not. Sometimes you have to take your feelings outside and give them a good talking-to.”

I smiled when I read that.

A Good Talking-To

The sixteen year old girl sleeping with a twenty-six year old guy.
The outspoken proponent of sexual restraint who gave in and gave it up.
The guy facing harsh consequences for his drug abuse has a phone background supporting it.

Smart people. Stupid choices. They knew better. They needed to listen to their “good talking-to.” They knew what not to do.

Why Do We Do What We Do?

Ash SanFilippo explains, “Most of us are motivated by one of two primary desires. We seek life or avoid pain.”

Many well-intentioned people while seeking life and avoiding pain make the most perplexing choices.
– Girls hunt for their daddy’s love in the arms of another man
– Lustful curiosity becomes an intoxicating drink
– A temporary escape become a lifestyle

There’s More To Life

I know single guys. I imagine sexual fantasies were a regular conversation among Joseph and the other slaves. But when Joseph was facing an alluring temptation to seek “happiness” thought, “I won’t sin against God by doing such a terrible thing as this.” 1

Max Lucado in You’ll Get Through This explains, “The lesson we learn from Joseph is surprisingly simple: do what pleases God.

Your coworkers want to include a trip to a gentleman’s club on the evening agenda.
What do you do? Do what pleases God.

Your date invites you to conclude the evening with drinks at his apartment.
How should you reply? Do what pleases God.

Your friends hand you a joint of marijuana to smoke; your classmates show you a way to cheat; the Internet provides pornography to watch — ask yourself the question: How can I please God? “Do what is right as a sacrifice to the LORD and trust the LORD.

We want happiness, but in a misguided search we do what doesn’t work. Lucado continues, “You don’t fix a struggling marriage with an affair, a drug problem with more drugs, debt with more debt. You don’t fix stupid with stupid. You don’t get out of a mess by making another one. Do what pleases God. You will never go wrong doing what is right.”

“Turbulent times will tempt you to forget God. Shortcuts will lure you…But don’t be foolish or naive. Do what pleases God. Nothing more, nothing less.”

1 – Genesis 39:9, CEV
2 – Psalm 4:5, NCV

Bring on the comments

  1. Good word! That’s funny, our family visited Substance on Sunday and we heard that message as well 🙂

  2. Small world. Shannon attends the SLP campus. And thanks for reading and commenting Greg!

  3. […] In my dance with God one of my daily routines includes reading my Bible. I often include one of several daily devotionals I own. This morning I read Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling entry and it seemed a perfect followup to yesterday’s Happiness IS Possible. […]

  4. […] all looking for happiness. Fortunately, as I explained Monday, Happiness IS possible for all of […]

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