Happy or Blessed?

  If you're familiar with the song, "Happiness Is", by the Ron Coniff singers, you'll know that happiness is "different things to different people".  Makes perfect sense, don't you agree?  Here I am, writing, just for the fun of it.  Can I tell you how many people hate to write?  Perhaps I don't have to tell you, because you're one of them.
  Are you a happy person?  You might say, "yes", because you are generally happy.  But everybody knows it is impossible to be happy all of the time.  Were you happy when you got that unexpected bill in the mail?  I think not. Were you happy when you had that horrendous headache last week?  Uh, no! Life is filled with too many unhappy events to be in a state of perpetual happiness.  I think that is why we are always looking for our next "happiness high".
  One of the biggest evidences of our continual pursuit for happiness is, in my mind, is the talk you hear on the radio about the weekend.  People live for the weekend!  Before midweek even appears, people are talking about what the weather will be like and what they have planned.
   The pursuit of happiness is problematic, however.  What happens when the weather completely destroys your weekend plans?  Then where is the happiness?  What if, at the last minute, you are made to work, instead? Let's not even go there!
   If you look at the root of the word happy, you'll understand why happiness can be so elusive.  Happy comes from the root hap, which means, what happens by chance (mishap, happen).  Oh, now we're getting the picture, aren't we?  We can control certain factors, which gives us a shot at happiness, but we can never control all of the variables, thus the possibility of disappointment.
  Even in those things that make us happy, there is usually an element of unpleasantness.  We may love our jobs, but hate the commute.  Love to go on vacations, but hate the packing and unpacking.  You know what I mean.
  Lets look, however, at blessedness.  In my last post, I talked about attending a memorial service for a little baby boy who lived only an hour and a half.  Do you think his parents are happy right now?  They may be thinking, at this point in the journey, that they  may never be happy again.
  I can guarantee, however, that if you asked them if they are blessed, they would say, "Yes".  Why?  Because they are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, and that makes all the difference in the world.  They are sorrowful, of course, at the loss of their baby boy.  But they realize that God has given them a wonderful gift in the four girls that are their's.  More importantly, they know they will see their son in heaven and spend all eternity with him.  They know that he is safe in the arms of Jesus.
  Having an eternal perspective changes everything.  Just like everyone else, we as believers like to be happy.  We like to see our children happy, and will do what we can to ensure their happiness.  But blessedness trumphs happiness in so many ways.
  Today, I am going to do the weekly grocery shopping for the first time in a month.  I have been unable to do it for the last few weeks because I am recovering from surgery.  I'm happy that I can finally go!  But in order to do that, I first have to plan my meals for the week and make a list.  We're celebrating a birthday, so that involves special planning.  We're also attending a picnic, which although nice, requires some extra effort.
I don't hate this part of the job, but it gets monotonous, week after week, so I wouldn't exactly say I enjoy it.
  Now, enter the blessed perspective, the eternal one.  I love a quote by Elizabeth Elliot - This job has been given to me to do.  Therefore, it is a gift.  Therefore, it is a privilege. Therefore, it is an offering I may make to God.  Therefore, it is to be done gladly, if it is done for Him.  Here, not somewhere else, I may learn God's way.  In this job, not in some other, God looks for faithfulness.
  There can be a great sense of accomplishment and contentment when we are properly related to God, doing even the mundane things that he has given us to do.  Part of this blessedness is the joy people experience from being certain of salvation and thus of membership in the Kingdom of God.  Looking at the Sermon on the Mount and all of the blessings, we see that those who respond positively to the Lord and His way, aren't necessarily experiencing those things that produce the kind of pleasure we are often seeking, nevertheless they have positioned themselves for something much greater, the joy of knowing Christ.
  Are you happy, or are you blessed?  You can know the deep contentment and satisfaction that is part and parcel of the Christian life, even when things aren't going your way.  You can know that God is at work in your life and that "all things work together for good to those who love God."
  Go ahead, plan for happiness.  Spend time being with the people you enjoy.  Have some fun!  Nothing wrong with that.  But know, if you live for happiness (living for yourself)  you are going to experience emptiness and futility, in spite of all of your well laid plans.  Live for Jesus, and you can experience true joy, peace and contentment, regardless of circumstances.
  The Lord bless thee, and keep thee.  The Lord make his face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:  The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee and give thee peace.




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