When you hear the word Christian, does happiness come to mind? The two can and should coexist. However, there are two big roadblocks to your happiness. The first is not understanding that God wants you to be happy and the second is getting in the way of our own happiness.
Have you heard the phrase, “God is after your holiness not your happiness.” Nothing can be further from the truth. Following Jesus doesn’t equal misery. Through His guidance, you can create your own happiness, but only with His help.
God wants you to be happy
Jesus threads a common denominator throughout His sermon in Matthew 5. Over and over again in these verses, Jesus uses the word “blessed.” He is laying out ways for each of us to find happiness. In this famous sermon, Jesus is answering the question of how to find happiness.
Your happiness and your enjoyment have almost nothing to do with the what, but everything to do with the who. The more you make it about the what, the more you are going to ask what else. See, here’s the thing. Your feelings lie to you. The reality in our culture is that when we feel unhappy, we reach for something to make us feel better. The problem is that the immediate fix can rob us of our happiness later.
Life has enough suffering of its own. We don’t need to create more. Jesus and happiness don’t have to compete with one another. You have been created with the capacity for happiness and pleasure. God’s desire is to lead us into something better. We can experience life to the fullest, in fact, it’s what God wants for us.
Here’s how to create your own happiness
Jesus laid out the steps for you to create your own happiness in Matthew 5.
“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope” (Matthew 5:3, MSG). The things you have do not dictate happiness or living life to the fullest. It is about getting up everyday, and regardless of the circumstances, declaring you need God.
“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you” (5:4, MSG). People who have experienced loss are more emotionally connected. They understand pain, suffering and death and are willing to sit with others who are suffering. Your emotional ability to connect with other people connects to your ability to have happiness. The other option is to walk through life numb, to disconnect emotionally and to never enjoy highs or lows. To truly feel happiness, you have to open yourself up to hurt. To love others, empathy is required.
“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less” (5:5, MSG). Don’t worry about who is following you on social media or jockey for position in the crowd. Stop making decisions based on what people you have never met think. Instead, make decisions based on who God says you are. Understand your value is in God and trust God with your future. You and I can only receive what comes to us from heaven (see John 3:25-29).
Keep reading Matthew 5 and the Sermon on the Mount because every time Jesus says “you’re blessed when,” He is providing instructions toward your happiness. Take a minute and sit down with verse 6 and try writing it out for yourself. How can you begin to live the truth found in that verse? What about verse 7 or 8?
You are invited into an abundant life
God came to invite you into life, not death.
Your own worst enemy is yourself. Think back to your biggest regrets and play them out. Who is the common denominator in all of those decisions? You were the one who drank it, smoked it, rolled it, leased it, bought it, dated it… You were. The thing you thought was going to bring happiness has over-promised and under-delivered. The greatest threat to steal your happiness is you.
The good news is that just as we have the ability to destroy our own happiness, we can also create our own happiness. When we follow Jesus and surrender our struggles to Him, it provides us with clarity which leads to happiness, the fulfillment of life and enjoyment.
As Christians, the distinguishing factor of our lives should be happiness and joy that is not ordinarily encountered. What steps do you need to take today towards your happiness?
Join us on Unfiltered Radio where we explore how to live life to the fullest every day by following the example of Jesus’ life. Jesus invites us to enjoy life. Let’s learn more together.