Who is the happiest person you know? Why do you think they are so happy?
I hope that the most joyful and happy people you know are Christians, but that isn’t always the case. Some Christians really struggle with being happy. They can’t laugh. They don’t smile. It’s almost like they think it’s a sin to be happy.
They’re the type of people who put the “fun” in FUNERAL.
It doesn’t help that some of our churches just scream happiness with names like Our Lady of Sorrows.
Maybe the reason it’s hard for you to go to church or the reason you’re not a Christian is because all the Christians you’ve met are judgmental pessimists.
When you think of happiness the last thing that comes to your mind is a Christian.
Which is sad to me because I think God is happy! I think He loves fun!
Have you ever seen squirrels chase each other around your yard?
Or your cat chasing a laser? (That’s cruel!)
Or your dog begging you for hours to throw the ball?
Where did that playfulness come from?
The very first miracle Jesus performs is not one that grumpy people are very comfortable with. Jesus turns water into wine…not because there was a drought or people were dying from a lack of clean water…Jesus turns water into wine because the party ran out. An interesting choice for a first miracle. An interesting way to let people know you are the Son of the happy God (1 Tim. 1:11).
The New Testament also talks about how Heaven throws a party when one lost soul comes home.
I think you can begin to see why I think God is happy!
Havard Professor Shawn Achor who teaches their famed Happiness Course says that “Happiness implies a positive mood in the present and a positive outlook for the future.”
Seems like that should fit Christians. We can have a positive mood in the present because God has promised to work all things together for good and we can have a positive outlook for the future because we’ve been promised Heaven.
For sure there are sad things that happen to all of us, and heart breaking things going on all around us. I think the message of Jesus is that we can still have joy despite the difficulty and suffering we face or encounter. We believe the power of God through us changes things.
Even though we will face tough stuff from time to time I hope you can recognize that there is a difference between being in a difficult season and being Eyore.
I think it’s a bad testimony to the world around us to be sad all of the time. We act like God isn’t in control and doesn’t have a plan.
Happiness is part of the message of our faith.
Happy are the people whose God is the Lord! -Psalm 144:15b GNT
…the joy of the Lord is your strength. -Nehemiah 8:10 NIV
Seek your happiness in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desire. –Psalm 37:4 GNT
But the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! –Luke 2:10-11
So if you think Christianity is doom and gloom. I think you need to take another look.
THE HAPPINESS SCALE
If I asked your roommate or your spouse or your kids how happy you are on a scale of 1 to 10 what would they say? When was the last time they saw you laugh? I’m not talking about while you were watching TV.
What if you rated yourself on that same scale of 1 to 10 where would you fall?
The older you get the easier it is to be grumpy. The phrase “Grumpy Old Man” didn’t come from nowhere. So if you are 50 or over you are going to have to work harder at this. It’s easy to become critical and even cynical as we get older. Why? Because we’ve lived through some tough stuff. Some dreams didn’t come true. We’ve been hurt and betrayed. Living through that kind of disappointment can steal your joy. If you aren’t careful you’ll start to suck the joy out of everyone else because you didn’t experience the joy you wanted.
It’s true that some dreams didn’t happen, but there is still joy to be had. This can still be the golden years if you will let go of the hurt and pain. Embrace the joy God has for you now!
PROOF OF GOD
One of the Fruits or evidences of God’s Spirit living inside of you is joy. It’s not judgment, it’s a happy demeanor.
What would it look like for you to schedule more fun in your life? What would it look like for you to stay a little longer with a friend? What would it look like for you to be present with those who are a present to you? What if you smiled a little more?
What would it take for you to live with more joy?
If you wait for all of your circumstances to be perfect before you allow yourself to be happy…you never will be.