Happiness Is… 1/31/99

John 13:17
Page 1577 Come Alive Bible

Jesus Christ said, “If you know these things, happy are you if you do them.”

Jesus did not say, “If you possess these things you will be happy.” Howard Hughes was long considered the world’s richest man. Just before his death he was asked if he was happy. He replied, “No!” If money made a person happy he would have been giddy.

Until you make peace with who you are you will never be content with what you have.

You are a wonderful, unique person.
You are a once-in-all-history individual.
It is more than a right to be who you are, it is a duty.
That life isn’t a problem to be solved, but a gift to be cherished.

If you so believe you will be able to stay up on what used to get you down.

Nor did Christ say, “If you go to these places you will be happy.” Some persons seem to think that they need to go somewhere to be happy. You will never be happy anywhere until you are happy where you are. It is you, not the place that makes for happiness.

I’ve just returned from Paradise, Hawaii. Once there we encountered a couple coming out of their hotel room. As the man slammed the door of this luxury hotel he said, “Let’s get out of this place, I am disgusted and want to get out of here.” I got the impression he plays that record where ever he is. He carries his unhappiness inside himself.

He didn’t say, “Get a certain job and you will be happy.”

A Princeton, New Jersey, psychologist, Dr. Herbert M. Greenberg, has done revealing study in this field. He interviewed over 250,000 employees from 4,000 firms. Every part of the country was represented as was every job category and educational group. His findings revealed 80% of all workers at all levels are unhappy and frustrated. Imagine, four out of every five are unhappy. One of the biggest markets in America today is for happiness.

Likewise, He didn’t say, “Be part of the “in crowd” and you will be happy.”

He said there are certain things you need to know and when you know them if you do them happiness is the natural consequence. Thus, happiness consists of “knowing” and “doing.”

He makes it almost sound like a science anyone can master. It is —- and you can.

Eudaemonics is defined by Webster as the science of happiness. Christianity is much more than a code of ethics but it is also a code of ethics. Science is a study dealing with a body of facts. The body of facts taught and demonstrated by Christ when applied results in happiness. Various laws of physics and chemistry have been demonstrated and proven inflexible for years. The truths taught by Christ are just as exact and always produce the same by-product – happiness.

Having noted Christianity is more than ethics I want to establish on what the ethics of Christianity are based. They are based on a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Christianity is not a religion it is a relationship with a person, Jesus Christ. This relationship must first be willfully established before seeking to apply the ethic. To reverse the order is to experience frustration. To get them in the proper order is to experience happiness.

The relationship consists of letting Christ be your Savior and Master. As Savior He cleanses and forgives of sin. Having paid the price for our sins by dying on Calvary it remains for us to respond in faith. When we do then the forgiveness is applied personally. Simultaneously with His forgiveness and His becoming our Savior He becomes our Master. That is, the one in charge of our new relationship.

Our eastern mystical religious friends speak reverently of their “master.” Their gurus are called their “master.” Christ is our Master. That is He is the one who teaches us. That is where the principles of happiness come into play. He is the Master we are the disciples. That is, learners. The more and the better we learn the happier we are. It works.

Once you trust Christ as Savior and respond to Him as Master you are FDIC Insured —
Father’s Divine Immortal Compassion.”

In considering happiness some basics need understanding. First, no emotion can be maintained indefinitely. Even as Christ spoke of happiness He became troubled in His spirit as He thought of the dastardly deed Judas was about to perform (John 13:21). A shiver went through the soul of Jesus and His disciples as He spoke of His pending betrayal. Not a happy moment. Not all are. Don’t expect it.

That night in the upper room the hearts of the disciples were filled with a medley of emotions:
They were sad because of the prospect of Christ’s departure.
They were ashamed because they had acted selfishly.
They were perplexed because of the prediction one of them would betray Christ.
They were wavering in their faith, though hoping against hope.

All that was put in perspective when Christ said, “Let not your hearts be troubled….”

This was not simply cheery talk at a pep-rally. He gave assurance as to why they should cease being disturbed. In essence Christ said, “Continue to trust in God, also in Me continue to trust. I will supply your needs. Let not your hearts any longer be troubled.”

A person can’t stay sad, glad, mad, joyous, dejected, or happy all the time. However, you can maintain a predisposition toward happiness. That is it can be your nature to be inclined toward happiness. Have you ever heard it said of a little child he is so full of happiness? Or he has a happy disposition. You can be one who predetermines to interpret the events of life in the happiest light.

Abraham Lincoln said, “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

The seeds of happiness are sown in the soil of every soul, attitude and disposition are the environment in which they do or don’t germinate.

Happiness is a choice not an automatic response.

There is a little couplet that speaks of two persons having different views of the same situation: “Two men looked out of prison bars. One saw mud the other stars.” Which are you?

Happiness is not something to be sought or bought. It is a beautiful by-product of a job well done. It is, as Christ said, the result of doing those things as he taught them.

It often comes into ones life through doors we don’t even remember leaving open.

If a person seeks happiness as an end in itself they are likely to find it as the old man did his glasses for which he had long looked. Right on the tip of his nose.

Nathaniel Hawthorne said, “Happiness is like a butterfly. Try to grasp it and you will frighten it away. Sit down quietly and it may alight on your shoulder.”

I find it like a cat. Try to attract it and it will ignore you. Leave it alone and it will come and rub up against you and purr.

I know some persons who will never be happy. They may experience brief bursts of happiness. However, their inner orientation is such that they are predisposed to be unhappy. Are you such a person? You can change. A change of environment, social status, economic standing or any other outward change won’t bring about happiness. It has to come from personal internal orientation. Make a mental note of some of these ideals and apply them.

Consider four factors enabling you to have happiness.

Let me share a verse that is of all verses one of the greatest stimuli to happiness. “I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU NOR FORSAKE YOU!” (HEBREWS 13:5B)

He said “NEVER.” This is a compound of five negatives. That doesn’t each is added to the other, it means each is multiplied by the other. “I will never, no not ever, no never leave you…”

It is a forever never with no exceptions.

If God will never leave you He has not now left you for “never” means “now.”

“LEAVE” translates aniemi meaning, “to leave behind, to abandon, to give up on, to send back.” Get it!

“I will never, no not ever, no never leave you behind, abandon you, give up on you, or send you back.”

If you ever emotionally feel as though He has call your emotions a liar.

Then He said He would never “FORSAKE” you.

To forsake means to leave one in a helpless state, to disregard. Thus, He said: “I will never, no not ever, no never, leave you behind, abandon you, give up on you, send you back, leave you in a helpless state, or disregard you.”

Who said it? God!

The omnipotent God said it. The God who is all powerful.
The omnipresent God said it. The God who is all present.
The omniscient God said it. The God who is all knowing.

When you are inclined to say, “I don’t have strength to go on,” remember the all powerful God said, “I will never, no not ever, no never leave you behind, abandon you, give up on you, send you back, leave you in a helpless state, or disregard you.”

When you are inclined to say, “I am so lonely.” Remember the all present God said, “I will never, no not ever, no never leave you behind….”

When you are disposed to say, “I don’t know what to do.” Remember the all knowing God said, “I will never, no not ever, no never ….”

Practice the presence behind the promise. Note, the verse begins “I” and ends, “you.” This is the basic “I-you” relationship that produces happiness.

Want it? Get it, and you got it!

Start every day with the confidence you and your Master can achieve. Together you can search the unsearchable, know the unknowable, and do the undoable.

Realize you have an invisible companion in all of life.

“for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Phil 2:13).

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

The difference Christ makes in our world is not that He said, “You MUST” with more force than anyone else, but that He said, “With Me, you CAN.”

Don’t let your feelings govern you attitude. Let faith and facts determine your outlook. When you awake in the morning you might in all honesty be able to say, “Dear Lord I don’t feel like you are here with me.” Any one of many things may cause such a downer. You may have eaten Paul Revere Pizza the night before and it got you up in the middle of the night.

The fact is you don’t feel like the Lord is within a country mile of you and is looking the other direction. In a moment like that be honest with the Lord. You might well pray:
“Dear Lord, I don’t feel like you are here with
me. However, Lord in your Word you said you would
never leave me not forsake me. Therefore, in spite
of my feelings I thank you for the fact you are here
with me. Let’s you and me go get ‘um.”

Continue with enthusiasm, “Lord, I’ve never
lived this day before and I will never live it
again. Help me to live it to the fullest in such a
way that I won’t long to live it over or have to
live it down. There will not be instant replay or
rerun so help me to live it up to your standard.”

Live each day with a purpose. That purpose being to do all within your power to see to it that in your life His will is done. He’ll help you.

In his work History of European Morals, Leaky spoke of Christianity as “the most powerful moral lever that has ever been applied to the affairs of men.”

Jesus spoke often of the Kingdom. It was primarily a reference to rule and realm. When He rules us He shares with us His power.

In searching for happiness keep in mind it is a beautiful by-product of a job well done. The initial and primary job that must be well done is to establish a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

“If you know these things, happy are you if you do them.”

The apostle Paul exhorted his friend Timothy and through him shared the same encouragement with us: “…give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine ….Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all” (I Timothy 4:15).

Meditation is a lost art among most Christians. New Age afficionados have given a bad reputation to the art. However, the Psalmist spoke 14 times of meditating. The word means to make an image. New Age teaching is that we create our own reality. That is so close to the truth as to be deceptive. It is not truth however.

Biblical meditation is taking a concept and dwelling on it until we become absorbed in it. Before he wrote of them David made a mental image of: a shepherd and his fold, green grass and a stream, the cup and oil, and fellowship with God.

Mentally armed with such thought he faced lions and giants.

When he failed to engage in such meditation and instead went up on the roof top and committed Transidential Adultery he lost spiritual battles that caused himself and others much unhappiness.

Meditation on the Word of God enables one to replace subconscious conflicts with spiritual truths which produce peace and a stable personality.

“If you know these things, happy are you if you do them.”