Has anyone ever asked you this question?
Of course I hope my loved ones are happy, and I enjoy being a part of their happiness, but I suspect we need to examine what happiness we’re talking about. Earthly, temporal “happiness” is temporary. Things wear out, clothing goes out of style, the newest update of electronic gadgets seems to come annually, rendering whatever I have now “obsolete” and therefore no longer useful; “stuff” collects dust and can be broken or stolen or lost; swimming pools need constant sweeping and chemistry added; lovely lawns need to be mowed, watered,fertilized, weeded and protected from insects; a bigger house means bigger electric bills; even my good memories of wonderful vacations and experiences in exotic places can be lost to vascular dementia, Alzheimer’s, strokes …. and sadly, people we love move away, get sick, and eventually die.
So what kind of happiness does last? And what kind of happiness should we be hoping for, praying for, and investing in for ourselves and our loved ones? Jesus sure had. and has, the answer to these questions!
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust[a] destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6: 19-21 ESV
13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” 14 But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?” 15 And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” 16 And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17 and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18 And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” 22 And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! 25 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?[a] 26 If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,[b] yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! 29 And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. 30 For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 Instead, seek his[c] kingdom, and these things will be added to you. 32 “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Luke 12: 13-32 ESV
You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ 24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”28 And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, 29 for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes. Matthew 7: 16-29 ESV
The evangelist Oswald Chambers spoke about where we can find true, lasting happiness that enriches our life now and gives us the blessing of happiness eternally with God in His Kingdom.
“In the biographies of eminent saints, you will find many instances recorded in which Jesus has been pleased in a very special manner to speak to their souls and to unfold the wonders of His person; in this way their souls have been steeped in happiness, and they have thought themselves to be in heaven. Although they were not there, they were close to the threshold of it–for when Jesus manifests Himself to His people, it is heaven on earth; it is paradise in embryo; it is bliss begun.
Special manifestations of Christ exercise a holy influence on the believer’s heart. One effect will be humility. If a man says, “I have had such-and-such spiritual communications, I am a great man,” he has never had any communion with Jesus at all; for “the LORD regards the lowly, but the haughty he knows from afar.”1 He does not need to come near the haughty to know them and will never give them any visits of love. Another effect will be happiness; for in God’s presence there are pleasures forevermore. Holiness will be sure to follow. A man who has no holiness has never had this manifestation. Some men profess a great deal; but we must not believe anyone unless we see that his actions agree with what he says. “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked.”2 He will not bestow His favors upon the wicked, for He will neither cast away a perfect man, nor will He respect an evildoer. Thus there will be three effects of nearness to Jesus–humility, happiness, and holiness. May God give them to you,”Christian!”
I can honestly say I HAVE tasted the Presence of Jesus here on Earth. Decades ago after one Easter sunrise service at our church, very simple but from the hearts of everyone who added their creativity and passion to the service, God blessed us, “kissed” us, honored us by the weight of His Presence in our little sanctuary for a full ten minutes, when none of us could move or speak, so powerful was the sense of the Person and Holiness of God. And ever since, I have never wanted anything more than I want to be in that Presence again and again and forever.
For two years on Monday mornings, for three hours I’ve been blessed to be part of a worship intercession group, a gathering of some 15-20 women from 8-12 churches united there in the passion to see the unsaved saved, our loved ones come to know and receive Jesus as Savior, nations, governmental bodies, terrorist groups come to the Cross of Jesus and find God’s incredible, unmerited, lavish love for them. I truly believe we’re on the same “wavelength” as God’s heart, and for that reason the Presence of God shows up regularly. Yes, through closed eyelids I’ve “seen” the fluttering wings of angels – and no, I am not drunk or “on” anything other than Jesus, Holy Spirit, and Father God – and others in the room actually saw them at the same time! We feel blessed, loved, empowered, humbled, strengthened,cherished, and yes, we know God’s broken heart, too, to see everyone we care about come to genuinely and fully receive His love. I read recently that sin doesn’t just break God’s laws; it breaks God’s heart, and that matters much more than religious legalism! I never want to break God’s heart because He love me so much and gave so much for me to be his!
Yes, I feel “happy” on Mondays in that group and in God’s Presence, I feel like my true self, created to be an intercessor and worshiper, fulfilling part of my purpose and calling from my Creator, Father, Lord, Savior, Redeemer, King, Friend, the Lover of my soul.
“Don’t you want my happiness?” YES, I WANT EVERY ONE OF YOU READING THIS TO TRULY EXPERIENCE RELATIONSHIP, LOVING RELATIONSHIP, HUMILTY, HOLINESS AND HAPPINESS WITH ALMIGHTY GOD THROUGH JESUS! I want my family, my friends, my acquaintances, my neighbors, even my enemies, especially my enemies and the ones who’ve asked me this question, to KNOW and EXPERIENCE this happiness that transcends, overwhelms, surpasses temporal Earthly “good things.”
The whole reason I post this blog, the whole reason I turned parts of it into a devotional prayer journal “Move Your “…BUT…”- A Journey Into God’s Heart” for you to make your own and speak intimately with God’s Holy Spirit yourself, is this very reason: that you might know the happiness that comes from relationship, as a child of Almighty God who made you for loving relationship with Him. If I could box it and sell it, or better yet, give it away,, I would, not for my gain, but for the pure joy of everyone on Earth knowing this happiness and breathless joy I’ve known and know. Sadly I can’t do that. Only God can do that for and in you, through Jesus, and by the Holy Spirit, but if you DO want happiness that won’t ever go away, ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS ASK FOR IT!
If I could only transplant my heart and what I feel in my spirit into yours … that would be true bliss for me. What I can do is share this with you, in hopes that you’ll tgrust God’s love enough to ask and open your heart to Him. Don’t you want my happiness? 🙂
Take a look at the people singing this song. Do they look unhappy??!!! Fill in the blank with your own words No, they look __________________________________________________
A “…;BUT…” to pray: Jesus, I admit I want ______________________________________ BUT YOU have the truly lasting happiness that will never leave me, never forsake me, make my life on of meaning, purpose, and ultimately, humbled joy when I stand before the Throne of Your Father God, so I’m asking you in faith, come into me and ___________________________
____________________________________________________________ in Jesus’ name, by the Holy Spirit, and I’m waiting and listening and eager and downright hungry!