You can’t pursue happiness and catch it. Happiness comes upon you unaware while you are helping others. As someone once said, “Help thy brother’s boat across, and lo! Thine own has reached the shore.”
Happiness does not depend on a full pocketbook, but a mind full of thoughts that are rich and heart full of rich emotions.
Happiness does not depend on what happens outside of you but on the inside of you; it is measured by the spirit in which you meet the problems of life.
Happiness is a state of mind. Lincoln once said, “We are as happy as we make up our minds to be.” Happiness doesn’t come from doing what we like to do, but from liking what we have to do. Happiness comes from putting our hearts into our work and doing it with joy and enthusiasm. It does not come from doing easy work, but it is the afterglow of satisfaction that comes from the achievement of a difficult task that demands our best.
Happiness grows of harmonious relationships with others based on attitude of good will, tolerance, understanding and love. It comes from keeping constructively busy.
Happiness is found in little things: a baby’s smile, a letter from a friend, a kind word, the beauty of nature.
The master secret of happiness is to meet the challenge of each new day with serene faith that “all things work together for good to them that love God” and to prove our love for God as we give help and encouragement to our fellowman.
God provides a source of materials to nourish the body which keeps us going and growing. He has provided unlimited amounts of burgers and bananas, but it is up to us to balance our diets. In like manner, our spirits need food. But, what does it mean to, “taste and see that the Lord is good . . .” (Psalms 34:8)? How can we taste the Lord?
Think about this: without regular “soul food,” our faith, hope and love do not have the nourishment needed to grow and soon, we find our relationship with God suffering, then we become weak and ineffective and before you know it, we’re on our way to spiritual anorexia. Thus, regular feasting on the spiritual provisions God supplies will prevent this from happening. Our basic food groups for the soul are: the Bible, prayer, worship and spending time with others who want to grow closer to God. So, make sure read the Bible, that you talk to God in prayer, that you worship God sincerely and that you get involved in the work of the church. And, once you acquire taste for real soul food, you will never want to go hungry again.
“Daddy, do you think God knows how we are feeling” were the words of my seven-year old son after we found our pet dog, Dallas, dead in the back yard on a September morning. It was the first time he had lost any living thing to which he had an emotional attachment. He was crying hard and didn’t know how to express his sadness. Yet, it was expressed in a profoundly common way. He wanted to know if God understood and cared that his little heart was breaking. “Yes,” I answered. “God knows exactly what you are feeling.” I wanted to cry along with him and did.
There are so many more tragic things in life than the death of a beloved pet, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the feelings or emotions are any less real. And in many tragic circumstances, people ask the same question, “Does God know how we are feeling? Does He care?” Yes, He does.
It would be a cruel, insensitive, and heartless creator that didn’t care about his creation’s well-being. We have little sympathy for fathers and mothers that have no natural affection toward their own children. So also, a god that didn’t care for his creation would be no god at all. Of course, the God of the universe, the Creator and Giver of all life, cares about His creation. We’re reminded of God’s care for us in Luke 12:6-7 “Are not five sparrows sold for two pence? and not one of them is forgotten in the sight of God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not: ye are of more value than many sparrows.” In the words of Civilla D. Martin, “His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.”
The Bible also teaches us that we can carry our burdens to God in prayer. Just as we would talk to our earthly father and let him know of our joys, aspirations, and concerns in life, so also we may approach our heavenly Father. It is the privilege of every one of his children to be able to talk to Him in prayer as Father. Galatians 4:6 declares, “And because ye are sons, God sent forth the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” When we so approach our Father, we can then, as Peter tells us, cast “all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
Perhaps, however, the greatest proof that God does indeed care for us is in the love that He showed us through His Son, Jesus. Does God know what it feels like to lose someone dear to Him? Yes, he does, because God gave His only begotten Son to die on the cross. “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not also with him freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32).
And Jesus, God Himself, experienced what it was like to live as a man. “For we have not a high priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but one that hath been in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15). He knows what our feelings are like when we are sad, lonely, depressed, aching, despondent, and hurting. And he cares. He also experienced those feelings. Yes, God KNOWS what and how we are feeling.
What is sad, however, is that many will not turn to God’s word as the source of true comfort. God knows each of us better than we know ourselves; so, God can tell us what we need to do to appropriately work through our strong feelings without resorting to methods and means that would only deepen our unresolved problems. God’s word has all of the answers to life’s problems and through our faith in it, we can overcome (1 John 5:4).