Finding Happiness in Life Despite The Ups And Downs
Everyone wants the dream of living a happy and healthy life without all the stress and grief that comes with it. Unfortunately, not everyone is equipped to handle the everyday problems that make finding happiness a real chore.
Even if your life seems to be stuck in a rut where everything is going wrong, there are ways to instantly boost your level of happiness and enjoy what life has to offer you. You may not be able to get rid of all the stress that’s affecting you but there are ways to keep stressful feelings and reactions at bay so it doesn’t ruin your happiness and severely affect your lifestyle.
Regardless of your circumstances, joy is truly present in your life… you just have to look for it. God has given you everything you need to be happy but for some of us, we forget many of those blessings when we go through tough times.
For me, I look to Jesus first for my joy even in the midst of all my pain and suffering. Having nearly died in two separate car accidents I am grateful for the life I have now despite the physical pain from the 2 major back operations I’ve had to endure.
Life isn’t easy but that doesn’t mean happiness should be cast aside. As Christians, God has called us to lead happy lives filled with His joy not the fleeting happiness of a corrupt society that has very little to offer.
In this article, you’ll discover 5 amazing ways God can help you start living a happier life right now. And, you’ll be better off for learning this in the long run.
#1 Way To Living A Happier Life
1- It’s Not What’s On The Outside But What’s On The Inside That Really Matters
Remember, people care about you because of you, not what you own. All the money in the world cannot buy you lasting happiness if God is not part of who you are. Most of the time, we try to fill that void in our lives by buying things to make us happy but after awhile, those things lose their appeal. All you’re really doing is throwing money down that void trying to fill it with worthless junk.
Look at all the rich and powerful celebrities over the years who have died from overdosing on drugs, chasing fame and got caught up in a life filled with sex, booze and lost everything they had. They are lost souls who put their salvation in the hands of the devil and ended up with nothing.
If you base your happiness on strictly what you own, you’re losing a long and painful battle. Too many people are slaves to the newest technology, designer clothes and latest cars, all to make themselves look good to other people. However, people like you for the person you are on the inside.
Think about all the good you have done for others. How you’ve treated them over the years and been there when they needed you. Was it because of your money? Of course not. Friendship doesn’t care about money. It goes much deeper than that.
So, what does God say about this?
In Luke 12:15, we are told about greed. “Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
Once again we read it in Proverbs 23:4-5 where it states, “Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.”
It’s not about how much money but what you do with it that is important to God. Money and possessions are worthless it you are not a good steward with them. You have two choices to decide…
- Let money rule over you
- You rule over your money
God has given you so many things to be grateful for so enjoy what he has given. His unconditional love is filled with all the joy you need.
Let go of the notion that your worth depends upon your possessions and look to God for your true version of happiness.
#2 Way To Living A Happier Life
2- Stop Comparing Yourself To Others
“Comparison is the theft of joy.”
Want the secret to happiness? Stop comparing yourself to others because you’ll always feel like you cannot measure up. This is a surefire way to ruin your happiness and live a life filled with lack. We all have problems and even though no two people are the same, we have this bad habit of comparing ourselves and our lives to others without knowing what these people are going through. The problem is, it’s like comparing apples and bananas. They’re both fruits but that’s where the comparison ends.
God doesn’t want us to worry about what others have. According to author Cindi McMenamin, “Comparison is an ugly game. Jesus warned us not to get caught up in it, especially when it came to how we “look” religiously.”
This game is never played on equal footing. Remember the Pharisee in Luke 18:9-14? He compared himself to the tax collector but Jesus put him in his place when he said:
“To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
We all have different strengths and weaknesses and because of this we must recognize the opportunity to practice humility when it presents itself. We’re never going to live up to our version of others so we need to rely on God’s opinion rather than the opinion of others.
Comparison all based on our insecurities and when we let those insecurities run wild, that’s when jealousy, self pity and greed come into play.
Cindi goes on to explain why we compare when she states, “You and I compare ourselves to others out of our insecurity. We hope to feel better about ourselves if we end up ahead. We also compare because of our competitive or perfectionist nature – we have the desire to be right, perfect, or just better than another. But comparison rarely leads to humility, which pleases God and saves us the stress of constantly running our measuring stick over others in front of us.”
When you stop comparing yourself to others, you’ll notice you become a much happier person.
#3 Way To Living A Happier Life
3- Do What You Love
Confucius once said, “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Those 17 words can be the difference between a life of mediocrity that you hate doing and a life filled with happiness and excitement.
God has given each one of us certain gifts and talents that when used properly, can do His will on earth while helping us fuel our passions. Your job, as Mission Impossible states, should you choose/decide to accept it, is to find a passion that both excites you and uses your gifts for the glory of God.
According to author Ruth Zive, “Our truest passions emerge in childhood, only to be squelched by real life pressures. So think about what you loved long before you had to worry about your career. Getting back in touch with those instincts is an important step in finding your passion.”
Studies show that happy people tend to earn higher salaries because they have jobs they love. I know the job you have now pays the bills but what is your heart aching to do? What is it that makes you get up in the morning and motivates you?
You might think you’re stuck with what you have but the yearning you have is telling you something. Everyone who went into business and did something they loved had a job to pay the bills but they broke out of their comfort zone and made things happen. Success and happiness go together but if you aren’t doing what you love you’ll get neither of them.
Everyday life experiences are where you learn how to live but you can’t live in a classroom all your life. There’s comes a time when you have to get out on your own and ultimately do what makes you happy.
If you listen to what others say you’ll stay stuck in the same old grind but listen to Steve Jobs when he says, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”
Don’t settle for mediocrity. That’s where unhappiness lives. Make the decision to do what you love and happiness and joy will always challenge you to be a better person!
#4 Way To Living A Happier Life
4- Be A More Prayerful Person
Are you surprised by this selection? Most people only pray when they’re going through tough times but God asks us to pray unceasingly. We read this in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 where is states, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
If God asks you to rejoice and pray then it must be important. The happiness comes in communion with God. Whenever you’re down, seek out His compassion and His love. It’s there that you will find His joy.
Here’s a quote from St. Jean Marie Baptiste Vianney, the Cure of Ars that explains the point like no other.
“Prayer is nothing else than union with God. When our heart is pure and united to God, we feel within ourselves a joy, a sweetness that inebriates, a light that dazzles us. In this intimate union God and the soul are like two pieces of wax melted together; they cannot be separated. This union of God with His little creature is a most beautiful thing. It is a happiness that we cannot understand. . . God, in His goodness, has permitted us to speak to Him. Our prayer is an incense which He receives with extreme pleasure.”
When you trust God, it gives you a level of satisfaction you can’t anywhere else. It’s in your daily habit of prayer that you realize how happy God makes you feel, how joyful it feels to be unconditionally loved and to be able to talk to the creator who actually cares what’s going in your life.
Even as everything around you is falling apart, God is watching over you and that is something you can count on..
So what does joy mean to you?
Michael Youssef, Ph.D. says that “Joy is a spiritual result of our focus on God. It is tied to our salvation and our walk with Christ.”
Studies have shown that those who pray are much happier people that is why your prayer life is critical to your state of happiness.
#5 Way To Living A Happier Life
5- Be In A Permanent Fellowship With God
Happiness is in God’s nature. He wants you to be happy and knows what is best for you. Too often, we think we know what will make us happy but in the long run, we end us sad and unfulfilled. We give into sin to experience momentary happiness but that’s not where true happiness lives.
Wes Adams says that “We are exchanging the happiness and joy of fellowship with God for the “fleeting pleasures of sin”
This is why you need to take a big stand on what actually makes you happy. Is it what God wants of you? Is it what God has planned for you.
Just because it makes you feel good doesn’t mean it’s right for you. When we veer away from real fellowship with God we’re like a car who loses a wheel and goes off the road. We need God to fix that tire and bring us back onto the right pathway filled with his love and care.
Wes goes on to say “Jesus shocks us by saying the happy ones are those who:”
- are poor in spirit
- are meek
- hunger and thirst for righteousness
- are merciful
- are pure in heart
- are peacemakers
- are persecuted for righteousness sake.
Happiness is different for everyone but God sees things differently. He wants us happy but He also wants us to be holy. That’s most important thing important on His agenda.
We forget that GOD IS THE TRUE SOURCE of our happiness and that He will lead us down the pathway of righteousness but author Eddie Foster gives us this to think about when he writes, “Because happiness so often seems to be elusive, people often try to find it in all the wrong places. Many times they fall for an artificial happiness that they create with behaviors that give temporary pleasure.”
Anyone can find pleasure but true and lasting happiness can only be found in God. Without Him, you’ll bounce from one thing to another always trying to feed that insatiable appetite for happiness. Instead, seek out God’s unconditional love and you’ll find the type of joy that will give you real contentment.
So there you have it – 5 ways God can help you start living a happier life right now.
What do you think?
Let me know how God has impacted your level of happiness and what you are doing right now to seek His joy.