Had a conversation with a sister in the Lord today and the subject of happiness came up. I was reminded of something that I've realized many times over; God's plan for my life doesn't center around my happiness. Personal happiness isn't the name of my Lord...his name is Jesus. Don't like that? Don't believe me? Let's take this argument to the source.
-Jesus said, "Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows." (Jn 16:33)
-Jesus said, "So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today." (Matt 6:34)
-Jesus said, "What blessings await you when people hate you and exclude you and mock you and curse you as evil because you follow the Son of Man. When that happens, be happy! Yes, leap for joy! For a great reward awaits you in heaven." (Lk 6:22-23)
Had enough? Some of you are crying "uncle", "mercy"! We would do well to realize that Christ seemed to teach more on suffering that on happiness. He didn't seem too concerned that his disciples were "happy", but that they were prepared for the troubles which lied ahead. Our notions of happiness comes from an emphasis on the god called "self". This god is never satisfied. No amount of money, resources, pleasure, toys, sex, drugs, friends, or bacon (covering all the idols!) can make "self" happy.
If we're seeking to let Christ get the increase, then we...(wait for it) should be focused on his happiness, not ours. Ouch. Ooh. That stings. If he is to increase and we are to decrease, then our focus should be on living lives that make Christ happy! And one day, when all of this nonsense is over, we'll get our happiness in heaven, when we are reunited with Jesus forever!
Read the Bible in One Year Plan: Genesis 19-22