Happily Ever After…What?

Aug 12, 2016

Some people determine within themselves that they will live, quote, “happily ever after.” The problem is…after, what?
They convince themselves they will finally be happy…after…
They get out of school… Or after they get out of college… Or after they get that dream job… Or after they get a promotion at that job, because the job they got wasn’t such a dream after all… Or after they retire, because neither the job nor the promotion turned out to be such a dream. Or after they get their first apartment… Or after they get their first house… Or after they finish paying off the house… Or after they meet that special person… Or after they marry that special person… Or after they divorce that special person…
Interestingly, the Bible doesn’t use the word “happy” a whole lot—just six times in the New Testament, and some of those times have to do with being, quote, “happy,” while enduring suffering and hardship, for example in 1 Peter 3:14, where we read, quote, “if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye”—probably not exactly the kind of happiness most people go out in search of.
But if the Bible doesn’t say a whole lot about being happy, it does say something about being “content”—which in the end, may be even more important. See, there’s nothing wrong with being happy, per se—I would prefer being happy to being unhappy, and I would prefer the same for you! But, it’s an emotion closer to the surface—it’s more vulnerable to the ever-changing circumstances around us—where contentment is closer to the heart—it’s something you can have independent of surrounding circumstances.
We read in Phil 4:11-13, “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I am instructed, both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
Friend, I wish for you much happiness, but more than that, I pray you know a joy and peace and contentment that doesn’t come only “after” this or that happens. I pray you know a peace and contentment that doesn’t come from circumstances, but despite circumstances—a peace and contentment from the strength found in Christ alone.

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