Photo Credit: Alisha Mullett
If you’re honest, you will admit you are looking for happiness in 2016. We all are–in different ways. Why do we create New Years’ resolution lists? We want to finally accomplish the things we think should bring us happiness. We all long to have a deep level of joy and fulfillment, yet, many times we deal with dissatisfaction or loneliness instead.
Why is that? Sometimes it seems questionable to us if it is even possible to be truly happy.
Have you detected that this world is filled with sad, discontented, and even depressed people? I believe that the reason this happiness always seems to evade us is because we are looking for it in the wrong places and searching the wrong ways. So many times, we try to fill our aching sadness with temporal pleasures and monetary possessions. My friend, these things will never bring lasting joy or happiness. Why are we fooled into thinking they will?
The good news is that we can find joy and happiness, but it’s usually in improbable ways and at unlikely times. But more on this later….
Finding true happiness doesn’t mean that you will never feel any tinge of sadness, but it does mean we guard ourselves from being sucked into believing in delusional happiness by some extraordinary experience or wonderful possession. The enemy tempts each of us with his counterfeits, but, at best, they only bring temporary happiness.
I’ve met people who had nearly everything they could ever wish for in life, yet were far from happy. I’ve also met people who’ve had very little in life and their lives were etched with heartaches, yet they were truly happy.
Those filled with happiness are the ones who really get it! They know how to find happiness.
There is one thing that brings happiness and joy. And it’s not in owning more things, it is not success, it is not financial stability. It is the very thing we were created for.
I’ve broken it down to three areas that fulfill our God-given desire for relationships. I’m convinced all three of these are part of God’s plan for your life. However, this first one is foundational to the others and, by far, the most important.
It is: Deepening your walk with God. Contrary to Satan’s lies, you will never be happier than when you are in direct connection with the Lord, Jesus Christ. The most miserable people on the face of the earth are those who have chosen to walk away from God in their search for happiness, peace, and purpose.
Although life will be filled with brokenness, evil, disease, death and tears, our greatest chance at finding joy and fulfillment is when we are obeying and communing with the God of the Bible. And because life will always leave us “hungry and thirsty” for more, God has prepared heaven where we will never experience unmet desires ever again. Here in this life, we are stumbling around in the dark and imposing “shadows,” but in eternity we will be able to freely and joyfully walk in the warmth of God’s light and love.
The second thing that will bring happiness and fulfillment your direction is: Building good family connections. You may not have the “perfect” family and have times when you disagree with each other. But guess what? None of us have perfect families. We all have areas where we don’t see eye-to-eye, but they’re still the family God has given us. We need to make the most of our times together and work on these relationships.
Don’t make the huge mistake of distancing yourself from your immediate or extended families because you don’t agree about things or you’ve been hurt in the past. Reach out to your family. Choose to forgive them if they’ve hurt you. Whether you recognize it or not, you need them as much as they need you. The definition of lonely is when you cut off family members from your life. If you are a Christian and they aren’t, they need to see the light and love of Jesus in you. Make it your focus to reach out to them in 2016.
And lastly, Develop strong, godly relationships with others. Each of us long to be understood. Sometimes when we’ve been misunderstood by others, we try to protect ourselves by withdrawing into a shell. We hold others at arm’s length. This doesn’t actually protect us, but instead, it causes us to become more dysfunctional. When we’re afraid to trust and love others, we are setting ourselves up for loneliness and more hurt. It takes courage and vulnerability to love and care for others. But the joy and happiness outweighs the risks.
I believe there are two main reasons why so many of us aren’t happy in life. The first one is because we haven’t fully appreciated and invested in family ties, godly relationships, and our walk with God. The second reason is because we’ve tried, but we’ve gotten hurt or we mistakenly think our circumstances determine our happiness. We’ve allowed tough times to steal our joy.
However, people, possessions or circumstances can never give you true happiness and joy, and this means they can also never take it away from you.
Many times our greatest moments of happiness are not when things are going smoothly, but it’s when we are facing a challenging situation, and we see God or others intervening on our behalf. Happiness is not found in elaborate gifts or purchases, but in the small, simple, and heartfelt acts of love. True joy is often not seen by those possessing great wealth, but it’s seen in those who have little more than strong and fulfilling relationships. Happiness is dependent on our relationship with our Creator.
Never allow anyone or anything to steal your joy. You can be happy! Even in a world that is filled with crime, disease, death, and relational issues. We may have to look a little harder to see the rainbow through all the rain, but it’s impossible to have a rainbow without the rain.
Let’s make 2016 our best year yet. It is actually your decision whether to be happy or not. Will you choose to experience deep joy this year? You can be happy!
~Cindy (For The Mullett Family)