Happiness is Not Guaranteed in Life
Learning to Find Joy in the Lord
by Joanne Troppello
That sounds like a given, that there is no guarantee of happiness in life. Yet, many times we react immaturely when things don't go the way we planned. It shouldn't surprise us that happiness is not a given, but we still get surprised when life stinks.
I know I’ve had my share of attitudes when things didn’t go my way. Yes, I’ve grown in this area and that has happened less and less. Yet, there is still the tendency to focus on the self and how I want to experience happiness.
Sure, wanting happiness in life is a good goal. We just need to remember that when we’re not happy, we can still be joyful in the Lord and praise Him through our difficult circumstances.
“And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord; It shall rejoice in His salvation.” – Psalm 35:9 (NKJV)
According to Dictionary.com, happiness is the state of being happy or contented. Joy is defined as a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. There is a difference between happiness and joy – at least when you look at it from the perspective of God's Word.
Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” True joy in the Lord comes when we trust Him and focus on Him and not on our problems.
We cannot find joy in life – through all the hardships – without the power of the Holy Spirit. Trusting in God brings us one step closer to feeling the overwhelming power of joy, peace, and hope in the Holy Spirit.
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” – James 1:2-4 (NKJV)
That verse in James has always seemed a bit harsh to me, if I’m being honest. I mean, God really wants us to be happy through our trials. Yet, He has a wider viewpoint than us. He sees the big picture.
17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. – I Cor. 4:17-18 (NKJV)
God sees through the lens of eternity. He knows that the troubles we face – some big and some small here on earth – do not compare to the glory that awaits us in eternity. That should give us some perspective. I know it gives me a new mindset – a daily reminder that I need.
Are you fixing your eyes on eternity?
About the Author
Joanne Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel. Connect with Joanne on Twitter. You can find Joanne on these social media channels—Twitter, Facebook, Parler, Spreely, and Clouthub—with the same username, @JoanneTroppello—and @joannetroppello.mseedsentinel on Instagram. Visit the Mustard Seed Sentinel YouTube Channel. Check out MSS Live Well Corner.