Happiness

Searching For Happy…

Whenever I get paid, I go and buy up the mall. Shop ’til I drop. I mean who wants to be seen in the same outfit twice, especially with all of these pictures I have to put on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. What’s missing a bill or two as long as people “think” I’m fly?

He really doesn’t deserve me. Shoot the only time he calls is when he wants me to come over late at night but he’s showing me “some” attention. I don’t want to lose him. Maybe if I continue to give him what he wants he will finally choose me.  That’s the goal right?

This probably isn’t the best “life decision” for me right now but I don’t want my family or friends to be mad at me. Isn’t their approval what matters most?

Nothing is going right in my life so I drink myself to sleep during the week and party hard every weekend to mask the pain. What’s a party, if I’m not there?

Have you ever been in search of  happy? Sometimes the burdens of life can weigh down on us so much that we search for happiness in all of the wrong places including: material possessions; men who are undeserving of our love; validation from loved ones; and reckless behavior. Even after you have done all of these things you recognize that you still are not “happy.” You are not satisfied.

I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my labor, and this was the reward for all my toil. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun. Ecclesiastes 2:10-11 NIV

King Solomon was the richest man of his time and I can imagine that he was the envy of all of the men. I Kings 11:3 tells us that he had 700 wives and 300 concubines; although they eventually led him away from God. While King Solomon is revered for his riches and infinite wisdom, he came to realize that his riches, his pleasures and his material possessions did not bring him happiness. They were not his source.  A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. Ecclesiastes 2:24-26 NIV

King Solomon in his great wisdom realizes that “God-pleasing” is the key to happiness. In comparison, none of us are as rich as King Solomon, we can’t throw the parties that he threw nor can we match fulfilling fleshly desires the way that he could. Let’s learn from him. As a matter of fact, King Solomon’s revelation of the true source of happiness is further backed up throughout the scriptures:

  • Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Psalms 37:4 KJV
  • But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33 KJV

Paul further backs up King Solomon’s revelation. We have to learn to be content no matter what state where we are in.  Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. Philippians 4:11 KJV Paul makes it clear we have to “learn” to be content.  When we are unhappy, we indulge in activities that are not pleasing to God. Seek to please God and be happy in spite of how much money you have in the bank; in spite of what the scale says; in spite of your relationship status; in spite of your career situation; in spite of family drama. Seek happiness from the only one who can give it.

Dear Daddy, 

Please forgive me for searching for happiness in all of the wrong places. Remind me that I am to seek to please You and execute Your will. Reveal to me when my actions are not in alignment with Your will. Expose my faults so that I can grow in You. Remind me that I no longer have to search for happy because in You I have already found it. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Have you found yourself searching for happiness in the wrong places? Share your story with us.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Co-Create Your Happiness

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Ms. Chancee` Lundy lives in Washington, DC and is an entrepreneur as she is the co-owner of Nspiregreen, LLC, an environmental consulting firm. She is also a dedicated daughter, sister, friend and community servant. She has used her gift of public speaking to lead workshops across the globe speaking to crowds as large as 10,000 people. Her guiding scriptures this week are Philippians 4:11-13 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for 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.”

Encouragement, Family, Happiness, Inspirational, Joy, Relationships

Co-Create Your Happiness

Are you happy with your life? Are you happy with your family, job, or business? I know that this list could go on, but let’s have a “heart to heart”. Do you think that God wants you to be happy or cares if you are happy? Is happiness for only those who are in the world? In my past when I asked a “super Christian” this, their rebuttal is, “God wants you to have joy not happiness.” Well, I have figured out that I want both! For this is what the LORD says–he, who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited–he says: “I am the LORD, and there is no other!” (Isaiah 45:18 NIV) See there you go! Our Father created ALL things and happiness is one of them.

Recently, I was chatting with one of my girlfriends. I called her for the second time this month (about the same issue) to vent and then to get prayer after my venting. Some of the people in my life that are close to me were making me unhappy. They were enjoying their days, at the expense of my happiness. They are just toxic people. The kind of people who walk around with their noses up while they speak negatively to you, tear you down, discourage you, degrade you, and have no faith in you.

Now the first time I called my girlfriend, she gave me a nice verbal “rub on the back,” but not the second time. This time she gave me a verbal arm pull (sometimes you need those) and pinch (those too). What she said was similar to this: “Lisa it sounds to me that you are unhappy and you are the one to blame for this.” I had to be honest with myself. Am I the blame for my unhappiness? Did this hold any truth to it? We prayed and I went about my day. Right before I got in the bed that night, the Holy Spirit wanted to talk to me about what my friend revealed to me. This is what He said: “Lisa you have the power and ability to be happy. Not only do you have this, but you don’t have the right to feel dismayed or like a victim.”

According to Dictionary.com, The word ‘happy’ is an adjective and means: (1) Feeling or showing pleasure or contentment. (2) Having a sense of confidence in or satisfaction with (a person, arrangement, or situation). Lastly, the synonyms for happy are: glad, fortunate, luck, merry, cheerful, and JOYFUL! Now, let us go to our Father’s Word and see what He says. “But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful.” (Psalms 68:3 NIV) I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live.” (Ecclesiastes 3:12 NIV) Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work–this is a gift of God.” (Ecclesiastes 5:19 NIV) There are many more where those came from; search for yourself. Seeing something in the Word does something to me; it confirms the heart of God! Yes it’s ok for me to be happy, but how to do I reach the happy destination? The Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, “Begin NOW to create anew in EVERYTHING that’s making you unhappy. You are capable of doing this. Your Father is the Creator so that makes you a co-creator and know that if you need help in believing this or doing this, just ask! It’s a promise to you!” YES, take that devil! I can be happy and whoever is reading this, YOU can be happy too!

I was allowing people to make me unhappy, but not anymore. Glory to God! I came across this saying by an anonymous author which sums everything up. “No one, but our Heavenly Father, knows your dreams like YOU know your dreams; so don’t let anyone get behind the wheel of the vehicle that will get you to them.” Stick them in the back seat, or better yet, on the bumper! My dream is to be happy and I’m living that dream now. So, let me ask you again. Are you happy? If not let’s start co-creating happy lives, happy marriages, happy homes, happy kids, happy jobs, and etc. with the guidance and help of our Father through His Holy Spirit.

Dear Daddy,

Forgive us for giving into the lie of the enemy that happiness is just for the world because You said in Your word that it’s for the righteous and by faith in Jesus we are called Your righteousness. We now repent and turn our hearts to seek first Your Kingdom so that happiness will be added unto us in our personal lives, marriages, children, families, churches, jobs, and world! We bind every lie, force, and person that would block our results in the name of Jesus. We loose grace as we embark upon this task and You get the glory through it all. We thank You that, “greater is He that is within us!” In Jesus’ Name, Amen! 

I EMPOWER you to ask yourself these this question: What and/or who is making me unhappy (relationship, job, weight, being an employee instead of an employer, etc.)? Get a pen, write it down, and then pray to the Father and ask for His help co-create “happy” results in your life. I mean it! You are promised happiness, especially when you allow God’s divine guidance to show and help you co-create it!

What are some strategies that you use to remain happy? Share those with us in the comment section.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: The Pursuit of Happiness

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Mrs. Lisa M. Purnell-Marshall is happily married to the wonderful and inspiring Antoine L. Marshall. She is the proud mother of two gorgeous girls. Her voice is one of the leading and authentic voices for breast-feeding, especially for the African-American community and Generation Y. She currently works inside of her home and plans to become a professional licensed lactation consultant in 2014. She and her family are members at Spirit of Liberty Church located in Markham, IL.  Embracing the love that God has for her, Lisa labors to live an acceptable and pure life through the leading and keeping of the Holy Spirit so that her attitude, words, and actions attract the glory of God. In her free time she loves receiving manis and pedis. Her favorite promises that she find comfort and reassurance in are: Psalm34:19: “A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all” and Luke 6:38: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Blessings, Encouragement, Happiness, Inspirational, Worry

The Pursuit of Happiness

Can I confess a secret? I am terrified of being happy. Like actually truly happy, not sort of comfortable or having a good day, but happy. Like actually having a committed relationship with someone who I know loves me as much, if not more than I love them. I am terrified that my dream job will one day not be a dream, but become reality and that I will graduate from my program within my set time limit. I am afraid that all my hard work and effort may actually be rewarded.

I know this sounds absolutely ridiculous. Who fears getting exactly what they have prayed tirelessly to God for? Who fears what they have petitioned Him for day and night asking for a breakthrough.

The last two years of my life have been filled with so many emotional ups and downs that I came to expect the worst. I took the “rejoice in sufferings” scripture from Paul literally: Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance.  (Romans 5:3 NIV) I know how to deal with disappointments, setbacks and hurts but to actually BE happy, live in the moment of happiness and to enjoy the fruits of my labor– I have an extremely tough time doing that. I always feel like I am just waiting for the rug to be pulled out from under me.

But even after Job went through his emotional rollercoaster God blessed him doubly:

The LORD blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. And he also had seven sons and three daughters. The first daughter he named Jemimah, the second Keziah and the third Keren-Happuch. Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers.  After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. And so Job died, an old man and full of years. (Job 42: 12-17 NIV)

God restored Job; his pain and trials did have an end and so will ours. When that time comes, enjoy it.

My first EmpowerMoment was called “Throw Me In” because my life felt like it was falling apart, and now just a few short weeks later everything that was attacked has been restored to me. All that I prayed for has been given back to me (ten fold) and I am a bit apprehensive, but WHY? God created this world out of nothing but His Word; why would He be unable to transform my situation just as quickly?  He can and He did and so instead of worrying about when the next setback comes, I sit and enjoy the fact that my pursuit of happiness has actually lead me to the Land of Happy. I think I will stay here for just a moment longer.

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for answered prayers, for loved ones, for smiles, for beautiful days…all these things were made to remind us that trouble doesn’t last always. Help me to enjoy the moments when You are blessing me. Help me to remember what the struggle was like so I may stay humble, but help me not to wallow in my past. Help me to anticipate the beautiful things You will do in my life. If someone is in need, open my eyes that I may be a blessing unto them, as You have been to me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Lovely ladies of the King, I EMPOWER you to embrace the beauty of life. Stop worrying about the what-ifs, the maybes of tomorrow. Instead relax in your Daddy’s arms and allow Him to bless you. God loves you with an everlasting love and wants to bless you immensely. Accept that. Simply and wonderfully relish in the gifts from your Daddy.

“Hear My Call” by Jill Scott speaks to what it’s like to go through, but it’s just as important to KEEP going so you can get to the other side. The other side is beautiful.

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Reaping the Harvest

Ms. Renee` N. Chaffin is a single mother who has a heart for helping those less fortunate. She has been active in the non-profit sector, whether through volunteerism or professionally, for the past six years.  She is passionate about sharing the love of God, her testimony and empowering people to discover their true potential that was bestowed on them by King of the Universe. Renee` is currently pursuing a Master’s in Public Administration. While on her pursuit of higher education, she is on a seven year journey to challenge God to do ‘exceedingly and abundantly above all she can imagine’ in seven areas over the next seven years. Check out her journey at http://radical7even.wordpress.com. Her favorite scripture is I Peter 5:6: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”