Summary: We get upset and walk around focusing on those things that do not go the way we want them to. But is being unhappy what God wants for us?
All of us want to be happy in our lives, don’t we? That might be one reason a person would go to church; to find happiness. But have you ever really thought what happiness includes?
Happiness includes a feeling of peace within your heart. Happiness includes a feeling of calmness when all around you is disturbed. And, in my opinion, happiness should also include joy. You should feel an almost overwhelming joy that you are doing, thinking, saying, and acting, just like the Lord wants you to do, think, say, and act.
There was a number one song out quite a few years ago. Its title was, “Don’t Worry – Be Happy.” It was an upbeat song that had a very catchy tune to it. It was meant to make you feel that carefree feeling you may have felt one time as you walked along a beach on a sunny day, or when you sat among a field of clover, taking your time to find that one special clover which had four leaves.
That song’s message should be the very desire of each of your hearts today. To not worry; to be happy.
Have you ever seen a Christian who just seemed to walk in the glorious joy of God’s happiness? It seems that no matter what they are doing, or where they are going, they always seem upbeat, happy, and focused on others.
I have always thought that people are too quick to point out your faults, and too slow to point out your good points, and that includes Christians, too. I once heard that if you put three Christians together, you would get four different opinions and five different arguments. Certainly that is not true, but that is how the world sees us. Why? Because we do tend to bicker and dispute and murmur among ourselves.
We all say that we want to be happy. And, many of us actually search for ways to make us happy, but the problem is that we usually search in the world. Like the old man once said, “If you want to catch happiness, open your Bible and go fishing.”
I will tell you this from a pastor’s perspective. One of the saddest things that ever is laid upon a pastor’s heart is when he sees anyone in his congregation living in unhappiness.
Our main text today deals with this problem. 1 THESSALONIANS 5:16-18 reads,
’16) Always be joyful. 17) Keep on praying. 18) No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.’
What are the lessons in these verses? Let’s review them.
1. THE FIRST LESSON IS REJOICING ALWAYS
What does it mean when it says we should always be joyful? Being joyful means that you are so indescribably happy that you are bubbling over with untamed joy. There are no words to describe that feeling, but if you have ever felt it, you know what I am talking about, and if you have never felt it, well, you have no idea what I am talking about.
According to our text, we are to have that feeling of joy all the time. Okay, how do we get that feeling and how do we keep it? You can look in a lot of places, but there is only one place a person can find that kind of joy. That place is in Jesus Christ. And we are not talking about knowing who He is either. We are talking about having a heart that has pleaded for him to come in; having a heart that truly feels there is no future without Him; a heart that is fed up with living without Him.
It all comes down to knowing what you want. Do you really want Jesus in your life? I mean, do you want Him badly enough to give up the very control of your life and turn it over to Him? I once read an article that gave a statistic on this, and they said that an overwhelming number of Christians, although they said they would, actually would not give control of their life away to Jesus or anything else. The article went on to say that most shut Jesus out to the point of never being able to really feel Him in their hearts.
Does this describe you this morning? Have you kept such a tight control over every aspect of your life that you have ended up shutting Jesus out? Even if this describes you ‘just a little’, let me ask you one other question. Are you happy being this way?
You might ask why you should rejoice with so many trials in your life. Well, for starters, LUKE 10:20, says
‘… Rejoice because your names are registered as citizens of Heaven.’