I recall when I was a child my parents would often tell me that my siblings didn’t make me mad, I chose to be mad. All that did was make me even madder. How dare they tell me such utter nonsense! They must have forgotten that I was the baby of the family and should be treated as the princess I was. My siblings were wrong, I was right, and it was their fault I was mad! They had wronged me in some way, obviously. For example, I shared a room with my two sisters and the sister closest to me in age was evil to me. We had a small black and white TV in our room for a short time, we didn’t have a lot of money so that black and white tv was a luxury. Anyway, she wouldn’t let me watch what I wanted. The nerve she had, right? Then there were the times I wanted to play with all their stuff, but wasn’t allowed. Don’t forget the times I wanted to go outside to play and they refused to play with me so I was alone. As you can tell, my childhood was just tragic. None the less I was angry a lot because I didn’t get my way.
When we talk about our happiness most of the time it’s tied to whether or not we got our way, isn’t it? If I don’t get my way in life then someone wronged me and I have a right to be mad. Even to the point of making those around me miserable is often our thought because misery loves company, right. People will even think that it’s God that has done them wrong. I’ve heard people try to bargain with God. If you’ll give me this then I’ll do what you say or I’ll just coast and chill for now God and later after I have my way, then I’ll turn to you, but seriously God you better show up fast. Call me Judgy McJudgerson if you will, but what a sad existence! I’m a fan of Jolly Old St Nick as much as the next girl, but my God is not Santa. His goal isn’t to bring me gifts and make me “happy” His goal is to have a relationship with me.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
I wonder if we did what the Word told us and if we were thankful in all things how much better our lives would be. What if we focused on the good instead of the bad, what we have instead of what we want and if we understood we were blessed instead of looking at what we believe we need. Like it or not God knows our needs more than we do. We only know our wants. We see a small bit of the picture, but God knows it all and knows exactly what I’m actually in need of. If we could learn to trust Him and be thankful like His Word teaches us, we would find the joy that we are searching for in so many other areas. A person, a job, a car, etc will never give you the joy that comes from God.
Matthew 6:24-34 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)
24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. 25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof
I remember talking to my great aunt and hearing her talk about her son’s death. The pain was more than she felt she could bear and she said she cried for a week straight. As expected she was absolutely miserable, she lost her son. She said she cried more over her son then she did when her husband died. At the end of the week she said she made a choice. She said crying like this everyday was no way to live and she refused to do it any longer. She said she made herself get up, wipe her tears, look around at all that she still had and continue living a happy life. Did she have moments of sadness still? Yep. Did they consume her? No. She made a decision to follow what the Word said. She choose to give thanks even in the difficult times. She would tell you that was the hardest thing she ever went through. When other trials would come her way she could simply compare them. If God pulled her through that He would pull her out of the next situation.
In the US, tomorrow we will celebrate Thanksgiving. Know that regardless of your circumstances you don’t have to be miserable. You can choose to be thankful. You can choose happiness!