I slept late today because it was raining and I had no plans. It’s Spring Break and I’m slow to adjust to the time change, so why not take advantage of a flexible day? I heard the rain and it was dark so even though I woke up off and on, I snuggled up in my soft sheets and let myself drift back into my dreams. One of the times I was awake, I started thinking about what I might write about today. The worrisome thought popped into my head that my blogs are too serious lately and I should write about something happy. But then I began to wrestle with the reality that I haven’t been ‘happy’ in a long time. Not the kind of happy that I think I used to experience, or was that just an illusion? What is being happy, anyway?
So that is my topic today. Here is my answer and you can provide your answer in the comments.
What does it mean to be happy, and secondly, is that even a Biblical concept?
I would say that the world’s definition of happiness is often based on desires of the flesh such as pleasure, acquiring possessions, sports, hobbies, watching various forms of entertainment, not working ( as in being on vacation or weekends), mind-altering chemicals such as alcohol, drugs, food, sugar, caffeine, etc, exercise-induced brain chemicals, sex, or more sinister things like power over others, schemes, or revenge. Most of those are not really bad things unless we pursue them to the exclusion of other healthier and responsible desires such as relationships, work, and God.
It’s okay to enjoy your birthday with a cake and ice cream and dancing and even wine, but every day can’t be a birthday party! Not yet anyway. Maybe it will be in heaven!
We are fallen humans and our fleshly bodies seek those things naturally. However, lets not forget the pure happiness of falling in love, having a baby, seeing our children grow and learn and succeed, and the happiness of being in nature. Nothing makes me happier than seeing my kids smiling and excited about something! Being happy is a blessing! But being truly joyful is even better.
If you do a quick search for ‘Bible Verses about happiness’ you will find that there aren’t many.
We’ve all heard that happiness and joy are not the same thing. You can be at peace, joyful, content, and blessed even when circumstances are terrible. That is supernatural and comes from knowing God and knowing that He is in control and is working all things together for the good of those who love Him*.
I think I’m experiencing life in that last category nowadays. I’m sure some of it is just from getting older, but there’s also so much happening in the world that I feel like I must write about things that seem ‘unhappy’ or negative and warn people. Is it really wise to live in denial of the reality of what is happening in the world? Or is it my responsibility as a believer to speak the truth while I still can? Obviously I believe the latter. So even though my blogs are serious, I am still at peace and joyful. Actually more so than ever because this joy depends on nothing but knowing Jesus.
My blog topics may not be fun and carefree in 2021, but I have to write what God puts on my heart. I’m thankful for those who write on other topics! I need that balance. What makes me even happier now is knowing that I don’t have to please everyone. I used to believe that I did. That was quite a burden! I enjoy reading fiction, laughing at funny videos, watching my pets and birds, listening to music ( although my range has shrunk because I am now more offended by sinful lyrics), running and walking, and mostly just being with my family. That is what makes me happy. But Jesus is my joy.
So what about you? Are you ‘happy’ and what makes you feel ‘happy’ even in this uncertain world? Do you know Jesus and does that give you joy even in bad times? How do you feel about people who try to warn and inform? Would you rather not know what is going on in the world?
*And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.Romans 8:28
I think we’re kind of cut out of the same cloth (or @ least have been wrestling w/ similar thoughts in the writing arena. I know my posts the past year have had a more somber tone to them, even had another believer suggest, maybe people aren’t as interested in reading my “heavier” posts, just because this last year has been such a downer. All of us are having to deal with crazy new things coming @ us from every corner. In addition to my heart to heart blog, I have my farm blog, which lends itself to less serious topics, so I don’t second guess myself on the farm blog as much as my main one. Like you mentioned..people pleasing is such a waste of mental energy. So at the end of the day..I say, keep writing as God puts things on your heart. I”m sure Jeremiah the prophet would tell both of us, as long as we’re faithfully doing what God has called us to do, that’s all you need to be concerned with. DM
I think this is one the reasons we bloggers write , to deal with these crazy things ! Funny you mention Jeremiah because I identify with him. Thanks for the support ,DM. I forgot to mention listening to Christian music as something that makes me happy , but it’s really helping these days.
I feel so much the same about this blogging of ours— there seems to be such an urgency and seriousness— then I’ll get to thinking how “Jeremiahish” I am— oh wow be the wrath— so I’ll try to be uplifting and hopeful— which is all good and much needed— but then I’m reminded time is if the essence— be that lone voice in the desert— proclaim that the Lord is near!!!!
Time is running out!!!
Amen! Sometimes I feel like wordpress is a protected little world. I look forward to meeting you all one day in the kingdom!
It will be fun won’t it!!! 🥰
Love this post. Because happiness and joy aren’t always the same thing are they? And please, please write what God puts on your heart 🙂 There is a reason He is putting there. Someone, somewhere needs to read it!!! I am working at the joy. When I focus on the fact that God is in control of my life and He is working for my good, I feel such peace and a sense of that joy. It’s when I get stuck in my own head that the worry and fear and stress take over. It’s an active seeking. I have to focus (and rightly so!) on God in order to find it 🙂 Keep writing what God is calling you to write! I also struggle with people pleasing. I am working on it though 🙂 God Bless!
I think you’ll like my podcast ,since I know we are in the same boat .