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A luxury called happiness

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. -- Philippians 4:11 I have heard it more than once from numerous people. If truth be told, I have been that person who has uttered these words whenever things aren't going my way, or when drama seems to be unfolding all around me. I have said them as carelessly and commonly as if I was taking a breath and never really thought anything of them. I have said, as if it is the only thing keeping me from eternal bliss, "I just want to be happy". Perhaps you are familiar with this phrase. We use it all the time, especially in regards to relationships, but it has also been spoken in reference to employment, living situations, kids, and various other topics. Usually they are spoken with a sigh and a heavy heart, stated as though a fixed marriage, job, or home would really make us happy. But when you think about it, is this statement really true? Would an improvement in your marriage honestly make you happy? Didn't you use to say that just being married would make you "happy" when you were talking to your single friends? Or would a different job make you happy? You complained about the last job and God blessed you with this one, but you're still not "happy". Or the house you just had to have...God told you to wait but you weren't "happy" living in the smaller one you could afford so now you're unhappy and broke to top it off! So now in every one of these situations and countless others, we still "just want to be happy". I wonder, are we ever satisfied? My thought is -- no, we aren't. There is always more that we seem to want in order to fulfill some insatiable thirst we have for more, bigger, better, different. I realized today that the concept of "being happy" is really for people who already have too much. Think about it. Have you ever heard a homeless person say, I just want to be happy. Or an abused child. Or an addict. Or someone living in a shanty in a third world country. Or a single mom with 5 kids living below the poverty line in the good old US of A. I doubt that you have. Why? Because they are more desirous of basic, fundamental necessities like food, water, shelter and clothing to be concerned with whether or not they are "happy". They are "happy" to eat, have a bed to sleep in, clothes on their back, a roof over their head and here we are talking about "I just want to be happy". Well you know what you should do? You should just "be happy" in whatever state you are in as Paul mentions in the above verse. In verse 12 of this text, Paul states that whether he is living large or struggling, on the mountain high or the valley low, he is content, satisfied and aware that God is meeting his every need so what more can he ask for? We in the body of Christ are a blessed and prosperous people. We are fortunate beyond measure and yet we can be so ungrateful. God gives to us exceeding abundantly above all we can ask or think according to the power at work in us and yet we still want more. I know I am guilty of it and God is chastising me for it so I figured I'd share my insight with you. We must learn that the notion of happiness is relative and a luxury that people who usually already have every reason to "be happy" are merely overlooking. Today, and every time, we should just take a few moments to count our blessings, thank God, and say, in this life, I am happy. God has a vision for you...let's find out what it is! In Christ, SistaV

Originally posted on: March 10, 2009

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