Have you ever wondered why some people are consistently happy and cheerful, and others aren’t? Why you seem to be bogged down with trials, sadness and sickness — and yet your friend over there is happy as a lark? Yeah, I used to be there, too. I used to feel sad, depressed, or discouraged nearly every day.
But I learned some things that changed me, and I want to share those lessons with you. I want to show you how I became a happy Christian. Truly happy – not just fakin’ it. Now, some folks just have more naturally cheerful personalities. But that’s not me. I tend towards glum attitudes and depression if left in my natural state.
1. I learned to hate sin.
Wow. You are wondering right now what sin has to do with being happy? I mean, you’re sins are forgiven, you’re on your way to Heaven, so yeah, that makes you happy, but….?
Here’s the thing. If you hate sin passionately, if you begin to grasp the amazing work Jesus did for you on the Cross, you will also start to understand how blessed and privileged you are! When I start meditating on the work of Calvary – the great price Jesus paid for my sin – then I am humbled. I am moved to tears. I am broken yet joyful. The price for my sin has been paid in full! MY SIN.
Then I start to think about how it was my sin that nailed Him there, and quickly I began to detest sin. Sin is no longer a ‘forbidden fruit’, but rather a sneaky poison. Jealousy, holding grudges, unforgiveness… all these hidden, ‘acceptable’ sins that Christians allow in their lives – all became awful and unacceptable to me.
Now, I am not saying I am perfect. I do still sin, sadly. But I take all sin seriously. I repent and turn from it. I do not think I will be perfect anytime soon, but I will not stop growing and changing until I am! That is my goal – to overcome sin in my life by the power of Christ.
“You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of gladness above Your companions.” Hebrews 1:9
2. I learned to love righteousness.
Saw this one coming, didn’t you? I mean if this was how Jesus was anointed with gladness, then it will work the same way for me.
And for you!
Jesus is our perfect example, and we know that the way He lived – that’s how we, too, can live! I can’t enjoy things that are smeared with sin. I love righteous, holy living. When I see a person being faithful in money, or refusing to gossip, or being gracious to their accusers – I am awed. It truly makes me so happy to see someone living righteously. And I too, want to live like that!
I live with my life as an open book. No secrets, no skeletons in my closet. I walk before the face of God each day – keeping my conscience clear. At first, it was more sinning and failure than I care to admit. But little by little, as I continued reading the Word and praying and fellowshipping with other believers — well, God began to work His righteousness into my life.
3. Understanding how much God loves me.
It wasn’t until the last 10 years that I began to understand how deeply God loves me. Would you believe me if I told you that God loves you — YOU! — as much as He loves Jesus? I know! Crazy, right? But that’s what Jesus said, right there in John:
“I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.” John 17:23
Understanding God’s unfailing, deeper-than-the-ocean love for me has been huge! When I start comparing myself to others or just wondering if anyone actually likes me, (maybe they are just being nice to me?!) I have trained myself to go back to God’s love for me.
Meditate on His repeated words of love. If you are struggling, do a Bible word search on ‘love’. It will do your heart good, to know God loves you.
I like to watch daddies with their small children. The tenderness and love! They are so gentle and caring, it warms my heart. My husband is just such a loving father to our children – when I watch him, I can’t help but feel amazed and awed by my Heavenly Father’s love for me.
It will change your view of the world! It will satisfy the craving in your heart, it will diminish every hurt that comes from others, it will settle and comfort and strengthen you in every way.
[bctt tweet=”My hope is in Christ; not in this world, and that makes all the difference. ” username=”aranchmom”]
4. Accepting that I am not a naturally outgoing person.
How did this change me? By learning to accept how God made me, and not getting discouraged comparing myself to my fun-loving, bubbly friends. I came to understand that while these fun people make life interesting and exciting, (and I LOVE them!) God has made me with a more relaxed personality for a reason.
People don’t come to me when they want to party. They just don’t! I am not that kind of person. I don’t know how to throw exciting parties. When I invite friends to my house, I set out big platters of simple food, help-yourself stacks of paper plates, and lots of cookies. Then I curl up on the couch and talk my heart out with them. That’s my idea of entertaining. 🙂
But you know, sometimes people want to just talk, too. Sometimes we just need to pour out our heart to each other, and it doesn’t matter if the ceiling fan has dust or the paper plates are plain white. So, accepting my personality has really gone far with helping me be a happy person.
After many years of living defeated and identifying as a Melancholy personality, (eyeroll) I can say with all honesty that I rarely have a ‘bad day’ or feel blue.
My hope is in Christ; not in this world, and that makes all the difference.
If this has encouraged you in any way, please drop me a comment or share this post, I’d appreciate it!