Updated: Oct 27, 2020
Abandon cookie cutter life goals and be true to the uniqueness in you and your life story.
The greatest commandment in the bible is to be happy = Love
Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law? Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and Prophets hang on these two commandments.” ~ Matthew 22 : 36 - 40
It’s going to take courage to be happy. Are you as surprised as I am, that to be happy I need to be courageous? It’s counter-intuitive. Happiness should be easy but it’s not. In fact grumbling, complaining, being miserable, and finding others to be miserable with is the easiest way to live life. That saying, ‘misery loves company’ couldn’t be more true.
What does loving God, loving ourselves, and loving others have to do with happiness? Absolutely everything. We all want cups that overflow with joy and happiness. What’s the secret? God has revealed to His people the secrets of heaven.
Being strong enough to be okay with the way God made you and then extending that courtesy to other people and the situations you find yourself in. Being bold enough to always look for the good in yourself, and then extending that courtesy to others and to life experiences. If we truly believe that ALL things work for our good, even the things that cause us discomfort and pain, then we have to choose to be happy no matter the circumstances.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” ~ Romans 8 : 28
This doesn’t mean that we don’t experience pain. Neither do we try to make light of difficult situations at all. Jesus himself wept (John 11 : 35) after the death of his friend Lazarus, despite having the power to raise him from the dead which Jesus did. He wept because even though Jesus was God in the flesh, He was flesh. Christ experienced all the emotions that we have ever had and more. He is the only one to agree to be gruesomely put to death being an innocent man in order for the sins of a people who hated him to be washed away. Christ alone was in such agony for us that as he prayed before he was crucified his sweat became like blood ( Luke 22 : 44). Can anyone love us more than this?
There is nothing that we have faced or will face in this life that our God is not able to heal. We have to trust Him enough to put down the load that has made us heavy. Literally get rid of all we are carrying. Release it to God in prayer. We get heavy laden when we carry things for too long in our heart space. We hold on to disappointments, betrayals, and the emotions they created in us. That’s the proverbial cloud about our heads all day long.It’s clouding our happiness and It has no place in our lives.
“Be anxious of nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4 : 6 - 7
It feels good to have explanations, like I’m unhappy because they betrayed me; but how about looking for that situation in God’s word to see how to handle it. Joseph was betrayed by his blood brothers, sold into slavery as an alternative to their initial plan which was to kill him. And yet he was able to see that God had a purpose in ALL that happened and that purpose was for good. When Joseph was reunited with his brothers he had this to say to them:
“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” ~ Genesis 50 : 20
Christ has set us free from all things that could have bound us. We are free! (Galatians 5 : 1) Nothing can control us unless we give our permission. Move to the beat of your own drum. Never assimilate. Live your life with authenticity. We are often too afraid to be different but God has a purpose with our lives that is too great for us to know. Use that “weirdness” to bring glory to God. Whom can we fear? The King of Kings calls us His friend (John 15 : 15). We are already accepted.
Our secret to happiness is love of God, others, and self. 1 Corinthians 13 talks about love -that which should reside in our heart space. There is a reason it is characterized in detail, lest we mistake the meaning of love for what popular culture tells us it is. It’s not happy and giddy feelings but it is the consistent practice of this definition that produces happy and giddy, but more importantly JOY and PEACE.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…” ~ 1 Corinthians 13 : 4 - 8
This is our portion if we love God. We have to be consumed with Him and obeying His word because it was written for us to be at peace in all things and at all times. When we magnify situations and people we lose our happiness, because we have lost perspective. Whatever the situation, Jesus is the answer. Let's not forget, God created ALL things.
“I have told you these things, so that in me (Jesus) you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” ~ John 16 : 33
We can walk through life with a spring in our step, knowing that God is working it ALL out for our good.
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