I’m guilty of falling into every kind of cliche there is. It’s human nature. Most of us do it and we admire the people who manage not to.
What I’m talking about things like ‘money won’t make you happy.’ Everybody has heard that and really honestly nobody believes it. Granted we need to make enough to live, but don’t you secretly long to win the lotttery or discover a distant cousin who leaves you millions?
Over and over it has been shown that people generally don’t do well when they win a lot of money. They spend it frivalously and stupidly, and it is quickly gone.
We get upset about aging. I’m talking about Christians here. We feel like time is running out. I saw a great Beth Moore dvd the other day talking about the fact that time isn’t winding down, it’s going forward forever. We don’t have an expiration date. Yes there is a day we will pass over, but that’s the beginning of a new life. But we worry about gray hair and wrinkles. We don’t have a kingdom perspective. We’re blessed to live each day. Hopefully having wrinkles and gray hair means we have grand children or great grandchildren.
I fell into the trap of thinking a man would make me happy. When I got married I had no doubts. I knew we’d be together forever. God’s version of the story went another direction. Now he’s showing me there’s life after all of that. I think at the time it felt like a failure I would never recover from.God showed me different.But the point was the cliche about living happily ever after.
What I’ve learned is that God doesn’t talk to me about being happy either through prayer or His word. He talks about me being obedient and holy. He talks to me about becoming more like Jesus. And remember, Jesus was ‘a man of sorrows.’
It’s not that God wants us to be miserable. He promises joy. But Paul had joy in prison and among all other heaps of abuse. I’m not sure I’d say he was happy exactly.
So when I hear people say ‘I think God wants me to be happy,’ I sigh inwardly. I felt that way at one time. It has taken years of toiling with the Lord to realize that my circumstances are just not always going to be a lot of fun. The blessing is that I get to be with Jesus while I’m toiling. I get to listen to the Holy Spirit and talk to the Father. My countenance might not always be lifted, but I truly believe that in the end, the redemption we experience will be beyond our wildest dreams. We only have to suffer for a little while.