Happy people are almost always at peace, with themselves, and with God. They are stable. They don’t depend on the caffeine of life to give them a sense of well-being. They know what makes them happy. They don’t indulge in anger and negativity because they know it undermines their joy in living. They know that when they do, they put their happiness at risk.
There is no way happiness coexists with negativity. I’ve never met a person who is angry and happy at the same time. I am not saying we can’t feel anger and then eventually get back to happy, but for however long it takes for us to regain our peace is how long it will take to be happy again. And, read this carefully, we will have wasted whatever time we spent on those negative emotions. We will never be able to gain them back.
There are times, of course, when we can’t and shouldn’t be “happy, in the way we normally think of happiness. Hearing bad medical news, job loss, tragedy, death, these are not occasions for happiness. That’s not what I’m discussing here.
I am referring to the ordinary ebbs and flows that we call “life”.
Besides, I think the concept of happiness is overblown and misunderstood. It’s too self-centered and self-absorbing.
I much prefer “well-being”.
Frankly, there are days I would be happy with “well-being”.
I mean well-being is kind of calm sounding, don’t you think? Like a gentle stream instead of waves. And happiness seems to bring with it heightened feelings. And heightened feelings, the “up” of happiness almost never lasts. When it doesn’t, there is the inevitable free fall. I’m at a place in my life where I think I much prefer the gentle stream to the waves. It’s much more stable and predictable.
Just like you, I like the feeling of extreme happiness but I’ve lived long enough to know that satan (I purposely don’t capital satan’s name as I won’t give him that place of prominence ) likes those extremes as well. He operates his best when our lives are either on a high plane, like when we are “on a roll”, or when things are awful and we are “in the pits”.
Aren’t you wondering why?
I would suggest it’s because when we’re either really on top of everything or really at the bottom, we get careless about our spiritual disciplines. When everything is great we don’t feel as compelled to study our Bible and prayer. When we’re at the bottom, we simply don’t have the energy or inclination.
And when we let down our guard, whether happy or sad, satan jumps out from where he is waiting. And rest assured satan is always lurking in the shadows. Some of you may have a hard time with the concept of a real satan, but the Bible says he does exist and has since the beginning of time. He is described as a liar and a deceiver.
So when we are caffeine happy (really wired up and on top of the world), he tells us we have no right to be. He even tries to tell us our happiness is just because everything is right in our world and we wouldn’t be happy if things weren’t so perfect.
When we are down, he deceives us into thinking we’ll never be happy again. That we deserve to be sad. That we’ve brought it on ourselves.
But when we’re stable, when we have a sense of well-being, we are alert to his attacks. We are protected because have put on our armor. We are more alert to satan’s ploys because we have our head on straight. It’s hard to think clearly when we are in an emotional state whether that state is “up” or “down”.
I am not suggesting we shouldn’t get excited about life or experience those highs that come with extreme happiness.
What I have learned though is that I function better in all areas of my life when I stay on an even keel. I’m one of those people who used to experience great excitement and then great disappointment. I am not bipolar or anything near that diagnosis but I certainly was not moderate with my emotions.
I would go so far as to say that I enjoy life even more now without the swings. I know my joy and happiness will be pretty much consistent from one day to the next. When I get a little down, I know that, too, will pass. In fact, I think I enjoy my life more today than ever.
Stability is a wonderful thing. It’s like the tree described in Psalm one.
1Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
We are to be like that tree. Planted firmly. Strong. Roots deep down. We are to be happy about obeying God’s laws. We are to meditate on them, meaning we study His word and know what it says. That’s what gives us strong roots. It’s what keeps our feet firmly planted.
When the wind blows, we may lose a few leaves. We might even lose a few branches. But we will never be uprooted.
That sounds a lot to me like “well-being”.
God bless and have a great day.
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