True Happiness For Young and Old
Hi Family, last week many of us were together and some special thoughts were shared with the children (great for ALL of us, really!). Seemed good to recapture the key thoughts and pass them along... mary and others : )
What is God’s idea of true happiness? What is it that will make a person truly happy? What are your goals for being happy? Are you looking for the “right” kind of happiness?
In this world, most people try to make themselves happy in a lot of different ways. Some just love sports, or games. Some love to watch movies or tv or read exciting books. Some really enjoy looking at themselves in the mirror and making themselves look nice. Some like to think about how good they are at running, or how smart they are. They like to think about all the facts they know and they enjoy showing off or talking a lot or being the center of attention. Some people like to have special “best friends” who like them. People who don’t know Jesus are always looking for “things” to fill up their hearts.
How do you think they feel when they finally get those “things”? Have you ever REALLY wanted some toy or Lego set or a new dress or some other new something? And then you get it and you are “happy” for a little while... then those “good happy feelings” go away. They are gone. Or maybe you have a great time going to a fun place or watching a fun show. You are happy for a little bit, and then the happy feelings are gone. Or maybe you really like being with certain people because they are fun and they make you feel happy about yourself. So you are with them... then the time is over. Sometimes when those “things” in life make us happy for a short time and we REALLY want them... then... afterwards, we feel kind of empty, or lonely, or sad or depressed. We sometimes feel restless or unkind or impatient. Or we don’t really want to be nice to our brother or sister. Or maybe we get selfish about something we can’t have, or we wanted MORE of that stuff that made us “happy” and now we can’t have it. Or maybe you get mad about something that happens. Say someone accidentally hurt you and you strike out with a mean face.
Do you know what jealousy is? Have you ever felt jealous before? It’s when someone else has something, or does well at something and YOU want it. Your insides feel all tight and tense and you start comparing yourself to how they look or what they have and what you don’t have or how good at something they are and how you aren’t so good at it. You get feeling all envious inside and maybe you get down on yourself, or you try to think of things they do wrong so you can feel better. Yuck!! All that jealousy and comparison of yourself to others is very wrong and far from what Jesus has in store for you.
All those ugly things—sin—happen because we are trying to find happiness in other things besides in Jesus! THAT is the key! God’s idea about TRUE happiness is found in His very special Son, Jesus! Jesus is the ONLY place where we will find true happiness! We won’t find it by watching videos all the time... we won’t find it by looking and “feeling” really pretty or skinny or nice to people. We won’t find it in entertaining books or magazines. We won’t find it in having special “best friends” or by getting people to notice us. We won’t be TRULY happy by being the best runner or the best painter or the best chess player or the best anything! Those places are NOT where true happiness is found. TRUE HAPPINESS is found ONLY in Jesus!
And that kind of happiness is a happiness that stays with you forever! Your heart is warm and soft and free and clean. You LIKE to love people and make God smile. You enjoy when other people have a smile on their face. You are glad when they receive a gift or perform well at something. You want to encourage them or congratulate them on their good job! You like to help other people and serve them. You like to hear people talk about God and His wonderful ways and wisdom. You enjoy just being quiet at times and contented. You don’t always have to be doing something fun or going somewhere special. You don’t have to have people telling you how great you are or noticing you or giving you attention. You can just be YOU, enjoying God and loving Jesus no matter where you are or who you are with or what you are doing. Nothing in the whole wide world is nearly as special or as important to you as Jesus. Nothing! When you feel that way about Life, then you are discovering what true happiness is!
If you are a person who is often lonely or discouraged or bored or depressed or sad... if you get mad a lot, or you get frustrated or impatient... if you are constantly thinking about yourself and what toys or “things” you want... if you get emotional very easily and have a hard time adjusting to new plans or other people’s needs... if you just plain old know that you are a slave to those sins, then here are a couple of things that are really important to remember.
1) God made YOU with very, very special and specific thoughts in His mind. He knew you when you were very tiny, before you were even born. He knows your name, He knows your size, your hair, your brain! He knows how fast you run and how much you know. He knows every single detail, sees every action you make and knows every thought that goes through your mind. In fact, He saw you long before you were born! He wrote about every day of your life on His scroll and He sees the days that you haven’t even lived yet! He knows you very specifically by name and on top of everything else, HE LOVES YOU!! Now that is pretty special, wouldn’t you say?? And, by the way, He knows all those details about you because it was HE who made you that way! He put things inside of you, by His design and love and hope for your futures with Him. He made us—we are not meant to find pleasure in those things themselves because we had nothing to do with putting them there in the first place! : )
2) Remember this: whenever you are having any of those ugly feelings and thoughts and actions—like the sadness, emptiness, loneliness, depression, jealousy, comparisons, judgments, selfishness, thinking about yourself, boredom, ungratefulness—whenever you are having those sins in your life, know that it is God’s way of waving a big red flag in front of your face. He is saying to you, “Hey! That thing you want, that ugly attitude you are having, it is meant to be a big flag that says STOP!” It is God’s way of saying, “Come to Me. Here, with Me is where true happiness and life are found. You are busy filling your heart up with junk, when I am the only One who is meant to fill your heart.” He has a future in mind for you that could be very special and bring honor and gladness to Jesus. But when we choose to sin, we are blocking His Love. Sin always blocks Love. So when you are doing or feeling stuff that’s sin, know that God wants you to soften up your heart and do things Jesus’ way instead.
It is important to remember too that just because you are young, maybe 5 or 7 or 8, that doesn’t mean you can’t be living for Jesus now! YOU can be making choices in your life right now, to make Jesus happy. Don’t think that you are just passing the time or just going along waiting till someday when you are “older”, then you’ll get more serious and obedient to God. It can start TODAY! You do not have to keep being grumpy or selfish or prideful. When you do that, it is because you are trying to find and do other things besides finding and loving Jesus. He is the ONLY place you will find true happiness. Praise Him for His wonderful goodness!!