Being happy is incredibly important. Why should we waste a perfectly good day on emotions that aren’t pleasant? It’s not selfish to want to enjoy life. Selfishness is far from happiness. Hey, if bullets aren’t flying over our heads today, what’s stopping us from enjoying the life that Christ put in us?
To understand how to enjoy life we must first understand what makes life unenjoyable. We read in Proverbs that the righteous prosper and the wicked fail. Well, it says in the Bible that those who follow Christ are the righteous, so why aren’t we prospering?
The truth is that we are prospering. The problem is that we choose to squash that prosperity by our own judgments—judgments such as my life sucks, I hate myself, and I’m stuck and can do nothing about it, helpless.
To live completely prosperous, we must give our lives over to Jesus, fully. We must be willing to do things outside of what seems normal to us. We must be willing to work in the conditions that God has us in—no matter how barren the look—with the understanding that God is leading us to great things. Our work will pay off when God says its time. We just have to keep working.
Look at it this way. Jesus loves us, and he has work for us to complete that we can feel good about. So what if we don’t have everything we want? That doesn’t mean we should waste each day feeling bad about it. Hey, if we are working toward something that Jesus has put before us, we should feel good about that, because we are accomplishing something bigger than ourselves.
In Jesus, we aren’t suppose to have uncontrollable anger, bitterness, deceit, resentment, or any of those things that make us hate life, because all of those things come from unforgiveness, ungratefulness, and, put simply, a bad attitude. When we learn to live, see, and believe like Jesus, all of those miserable things that live inside of us will be gone, because Jesus is none of that. In the end, Jesus won, so if we are in Jesus, we’ll win too—we’ll win in this life and in the next.
So, essentially, to live a life for Christ, our goal is to understand how Jesus does it. How do you do it Jesus? How do you stay so stinking loving all of the time? Hey, guess what, he wrote an entire how-to book about that. It’s called the Bible! The trick is to believe it and live it.
But what about the things we can’t control that make us miserable, such as the mean, hurtful people in our lives? Hey, take it from me, it’s hard to be happy when our heads are being pushed against the stove. If someone or something keeps hitting us over the head with a metaphorical baseball bat, trust that God will either stop, change, or, if necessary, remove us from that thing.
God is leading the footsteps of the righteous, and when God leads our footsteps, we can be sure that the place we are currently at and the place we are going is exactly where he wants us to be, so be happy, enjoy it! And if there are any questions or doubts in our minds, we need to pray about it, and we shouldn’t stop praying until it is clear to us what the problem is. It’s okay to tell Jesus how we feel no matter how dark and scary our thoughts are.
Nobody starts out at the top. In the same way, nobody starts out having mega faith as thick as a wall. Our goal is to find enough faith in Christ so that we can enjoy even the slim days, because even in the days of our emptiest wallets, Jesus is taking care of us, guiding us, letting us know that he will not let us fall.
Jesus Christ is the answer to enjoying life. When we choose to take on the characteristics of Jesus Christ, we are choosing to let anger slip past us so that we can stay in smooth joy; we are choosing to let bitterness roll off the table so that we can dine on the feast of contentment; we are choosing to let our budget be controlled by the God of All so that our financial needs are not thrown into the black hole of consumerism.
And all of the joy of Christ can be found as we work for him, as we follow him, as we give up our lives for the mission to lead others to Christ, feed the hungry, help the fatherless, and take care of the sick. Yes, being like Jesus and doing the things Jesus wants us to do can be a sweet experience.