Heard another great message from our pastor, Stephen Collins yesterday morning. He has begun a series on “The Beatitudes”. This question was asked:
Are you happy? Is this really what you want? Will that alone satisfy you long-term? When feelings change and emotions are fickle?
The most profound statement came in the middle of the message. ‘When we settle for just being happy – we aim too low’ – missing out on God’s blessing in our lives’. Sometimes, God doesn’t want us to be happy. Sometimes there are lessons in the ‘gift’ of pain and hardship in our lives. The most significant changes in our heart and character come when life is not ‘happy’ – but dark and sad.
For me – I know this is a true statement – and sums up just what I have learned and lived through over the past 2 years – as I grew and discovered God’s ‘gift’ of hard times, both personally, in my relationships and spiritually.
If we accept the ‘gift’ in the way it is intended – then God can do His greatest work in us – bringing us more than just ‘happiness’ – but a blessed and meaningful life. And sometimes what may feel like the end of the world – may only be the beginning of a great and rewarding life.
Are you happy? Is that what you really want? Or do you want more? Do you want God’s rich blessing poured out in your life. I know I do. I want to reap the reward of choosing to do the right thing – when doing that goes against everything I may be feeling. It means doing right by people and relationships – and being the right person. Living by character and integrity – rather than emotions. And when I do stray away and don’t choose what is right – at least initially – then knowing how to get back on the right path – hard as it is – to reconcile and fix it – and keep my heart open.
I am more than happy. I am blessed. I understand this now – but it took a couple of hard lessons to really believe it. I’m blessed with a wonderful family, a man who loves me with everything that he is – and friendships that mean everything to me. What I lost – God has richly replaced – and has taught me a great many lessons in the process. Things I could not have learned – just by following my heart and emotions because I ‘wanted to be happy’. When we see life as a journey – and know that there is a much bigger picture than just personal happiness – we will not want to aim so low.
Are you happy? Are you wishing for more than that? I invite you to share in some hard times – and think of them as a ‘gift’ – an added blessing to enhance your character and integrity. I wish you more than happiness, my friend. I wish you a life of blessing and purpose – a holy calling in which you give up ‘personal happiness’ for something richer and deeper. To see people the way that God sees them. To understand there is a lost world out there – and your unique gifts have placed you right where you are – to influence those that He has entrusted to you. Use them today.
Be more than just ‘happy’ – be blessed and be a blessing to those in your life.