December 11, 2013

Where Does Happiness Come From?

After listening to a recent sermon from Pastor Steven Furtick, I've been determined to make sure that the words that shape the season I'm in are words of positivity and encouragement. 

It's easy to get discouraged and STAY discouraged when we can't imagine a way out of difficult challenges we face in life. I just want to encourage you to keep pushing and don't give up. Here's what I've found to be important in creating an atmosphere of gratitude and ultimately, happiness: 

Count YOUR blessings and not your neighbor's.

I believe that contentment is a discipline that must be developed. It's very easy to get into the habit of counting the blessings of family, friends, enemies, celebrities and total strangers (social media) and comparing what you have.  Our ultimate purpose and reason we were created is to glorify the Father. You have everything you need at this moment to fulfill your ultimate purpose in Christ. If you ever felt like you were lacking in some area, allow God to supply it. If He hasn't supplied it, He obviously believes you can work at your greatest capacity without it. By getting caught up in what you DON'T have, you miss out on the beautiful blessings of what you DO possess and what God is doing in your life. Be thankful for the grace God gives anew every morning and be determined to see the positive in every situation. 

For example, speaking a single woman, I've found that it's easy to get into the mindset that "one elusive day" if I get married, THEN I'll be happy. This is a way that many singles decide to put their happiness on hold. It's common to hear of people who are happily married which is a beautiful thing. Have you ever noticed that there isn't much talk about  the "happily single" person? A lot of times, single people are considered incomplete, late bloomers, or behind. That mindset has become a cultural norm which doesn't allow us to unashamedly follow what Christ would have us to do in every aspect of our lives. It's possible to be happily single. It's also possible to be lonely and unhappily married. I wouldn't wish the latter on anyone but I really wish more people were vocal about the fact that being happy doesn't happen as soon as you get the dream job, spouse, house, life, etc. If you aren't happy before obtaining those things, when you receive it, it may boost your happiness temporarily. Unfortunately, in the long run, those blessings (that can often become idols) only amplify the unhappiness. 

Make a decision to fall in love with Christ and the portion of His grace, mercy, and love that He's bestowed in this season of your life. Love Him and watch your life overflow with more than happiness but an unspeakable joy. 

God bless you!