Menu

alt

 

How Miserable Are You? — Are You Happy?

The world seeks happiness. Recently I saw a wife, who was pursuing a divorce. She lounged on a chair with a drink.
The caption was “my happy place.” It was not in her house.
Where were her children or husband? 
Not there.
I cried. 
By excluding them from her life, she became happy. How?
This was a “Christian.”
How do Christians get to that point?

We’ve been talking about taking every thought captive to the will of God, by saturating our minds with His Word, and not allowing our self-talk to tell us lies. (See: Who Are You Watching?, What Were You Thinking? )
I’ve recommended the book, Telling Yourself the Truth, by William Backus and Marie Chaplian. They deal with lies we tell ourselves.
One is our happiness. 
When we are not happy, we blame our spouse or family. 
We create in our minds how awful or destructive they are to our happiness. 
Soon we justify divorce. After all, shouldn’t we be happy? Don't we deserve it?

One of the authors’ final chapters presented a moving illustration that shows how Christians can find happiness in spite of dire circumstances. I’ve included it in its entirety as motivation for you to get the book, read it and work through your lies you tell yourself.

During the years when World War II was raging in Europe, the small villages of Yugoslavia were hard hit with bombs, gun-fire, reprisals, and hardships of every kind. The Nazis dropped bombs from overhead, the Partisan army fired the guns, the Italians fired the guns, the Ustase army fired the guns, the Cetniks fired the guns­—the villagers hardly knew which flag to wave when soldiers marched down their battleworn roads. But there was one family by the name of Kovac who clung to their faith in God even though it looked as though the whole world was going to pieces. Death and destruction were everywhere with no end in sight.

Jozeca Kovac was a young wife and mother who had made a commitment to Jesus with her whole heart, and she and her husband gave their lives to Him for better or worse. It certainly looked as though this war was the worst, even worse than the one preceding, World War I. One day Jozeca was thrown into jail with several other women. The following is a portion from the book about the Kovac family, Of Whom the World Was Not Worthy:

“The cells, which were hardly big enough for one person, held eight women in each. There were two pallets to sleep on and two blankets. There was a drain in the middle of the floor and one window near the ceiling with bars across it.
‘I shall not shed another tear,’ she vowed, and she kept that vow for the next thirty days spent in that cell.
They received their first meal the next afternoon. The guard threw it on the floor by the drain which also served as their toilet. The pot of gray liquid had fish scales floating in it.
‘Ah, stew!’ exclaimed Jozeca. ‘Come on, girls, let us eat.’
But the smell was so pungent they could not lift the cup to the chin without wincing.
‘Rotten fish!’ one of the girls wept. ‘They are feeding us rotten fish!’
‘Do they call this food! This is food for the pigs!’
‘It is garbage.’
Jozeca’s eyes flashed. ‘And we will get down on our knees and thank God for it!’

Jozeca held the cup in front of her mouth and kissed it. ‘Thank you, Lord,’ she prayed, ‘for this food which will keep us alive.’ The others got on their knees also and they ate the stinking soup without another word.”

Later Jozeca prays and tells the girls that the Holy Book says if God’s people will obey His commandments and follow His ways, He will pour out His blessings upon them. A thin, gray-haired woman winces angrily, 
“What means this, 
blessing? She asks incredulously.
Jozeca answers with assurance, ‘Why, to know Him,’ she says, ‘There is only one blessing—the blessing of knowing Him!’

Jozeca’s joy did not depend on happy circumstances, did not depend upon the approval of others, did not depend upon pleasant surroundings, comfort, personal advantages, salubrious conditions or even answered prayer!
Happy is something you teach yourself to be.
You teach yourself to be happy no matter what circumstances, events or situations you face. (pp. 181-183)

The words you tell yourself have power over your life.
If you tell yourself something often enough, you believe it.
Those lies become a conviction.
That’s why Jesus tells us His truth will make you free.
We must know the truth. And tell it to ourselves often.
This is not positive thinking—I can be strong, I can do it…
Positive thinking is all about me, to the exclusion of God.
It’s another lie that keeps us in bondage.
I’ve written about being strong enough. What if you aren’t? (See Are You Strong Enough?)
Who is strong enough for all that the world can throw at you?
You aren’t. No one is.

But we do not crumble and cave into the world because of our inadequacies.
We have a God Who promised to be our strength and redeemer.
We must identify our lies, replace them with the truth of the Word and repeat that truth to ourselves as if that is all we have to live for—for it is. 

God’s truth does give us the power to live a happy life. And keeps us from being the miserable people we would be otherwise!


No comments found

I write about what matters...to you---
women, wives and moms---
about your family, faith and future.
I write about what's hard, what helps and what heals.
I show you how it's done. And not done.
I hold your hand as you find what matters to the Savior.
And let go of those things that mattered to you, but not to Him.
I write about what matters...to Him.
               Sonya Contreras

Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

Receive weekly articles by giving your email address below:

Faith
Find more articles about faith here:
What an Amazing God We Serve
Response to Healthy Gaming
How Miserable Are You? Are You Happy?
The Need for Meaning Even in Pain
Reminders of What's Important
God's Unmeasurable Love
A Quarter of a Century Spent for Our Country
What Were You Thinking?
Who Are You Watching?
Boundaries for a Better Life
God's Boundaries
Memories of a Hero Mom
The Ripple Effect
How Do We Think Like Jesus
Litany of a Waiting Woman
Ever Cook a Frog?
New Year's Reminders
They Galled Her Gammy
When God Speaks
A Russian Christmas Story
Be Thankful
Be Grateful
Are You Tired of the Same, Old Thing?
  (reprint)
Laughter—Why Laugh?
Mom
Are You Disturbed?
Unity of the Brothers
Encouragements To Declutter
Do You Have Too Much Stuff?
Too Much Stress
Getting Past the Noise—The Value of Silence
Are You Scatterbrained?
How Good Are You?
Looking for Something Good To Read?
A Cup of Cold Water
I Will Trust When I Cannot See
Encouragement—What Is It?
Being in God's Presence
"Einstein and the Professor"
When God Is Silent
Do You Crave Beauty?
Using Stories to Discipline
The Danger of the Wrong Story
Using Stories to Teach Lessons
God is in charge of the future
November Dare Joy Challenge
Ungratefulness
Developing an Attitude of Gratitude
Looking for Jesus
What Do Your Prayers Reflect?
Life's Little Pleasures
Daniel—Greatly Loved by God
Take Every Thought
Jars of Clay
What Do Your Words Reveal about Your Heart?
How Do You Get Strong Faith?
Too Busy for God's Word?
How Do You Think Like Jesus?
Reflections from a Mom
Pain—What's It Good For?
Why Marry?
Consider the Robin
One Life Who Made a Difference
What Day Are You Living In?
Interrupted by God
Is Jesus Really the Answer to Everything?
Are You Beat Up?
What's Your Hurry?
Are You a Manipulator?
Are You Salty?
Are You Condemned?
Trying to Understand?
Do You Expect Answers to Your Prayers?
Do You Eat Your Stress?
Need Focus?
Going through Trouble?
Immanuel—God with Us
Looking for a Relationship?
When God Says, "No!"
What Do You Do with Left-Overs?
How Great Is Your God?
Are You Needy?
How Do You See Sin?
What Do Your Words Mean?
Is Evil Overwhelming You?
Those Aha Moments
Is Your Soul Happy?
Are You Ignored?
Looking for the God Moment
Do You Know Truth from Almost Truth?
I Believe in Jesus—What Now?
Do You Have Your "Son"-Glasses On?
Less Is More
Singing His Praise
Are You Trying To Do It All?
What Do You Do with All These Prayer Requests?
Have a Problem?
Do You Know How to Pray?
Looking for God in Every Moment
Are You Receptive to God's Blessings?
Tell the Senate: Mothers Aren't Birthing People
Is Your Life Complicated?
How Do We Fight Evil?
Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
Giving Up or Taking Away
the Bible is simple
Are You a Dripping Faucet?
What's Your Testimony?
The Final Move
Be Careful What You Wish For!
Are Your Prayers Answered?
I Choose Joy
What Have You Learned from Your Hardship?
Who Are You Trying to Change?
What's Your Five-Year Plan?
The Danger of "Aloneness"
My Colors
Are You a Whiner?
Are Your Works Approved?
Do You Think You're Stressed?
Is Your Soul Feeling Ragged?
God Speaks to the Heart of the King
What about the Details?
Have You Felt the Long-Suffering of God?
How Does God Lead You?
Do You Have Enough?
Don't Carry More than You Need
Cast the Seed
God Is Faithful
Are You Deceived?
Are You Essential?
Are You Safe?
Are You Tired of the Same Old Thing?
Does the World Make Sense?
Have You Seen God's Majesty?
Do You Feel Judged?
If You Only Had One More Day To Live
Are You Understood?
Do You Long for the Word of God?
Slow Down and Smell the Dead Leaves
Are You Hospitable?
Our Heritage Is Bought by Blood
Are You Disturbed?
Are You Depressed?
I Did It My Way
Finding the Simple Life with Meaning
The Simple Life
Do You Have the Right Words?
Did Your Dream Die?
On the Other Side of the Fence
Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence
Confessions of a Desperate Mom
Saving for Tomorrow
A Wedding Remembered
Who Will Stand in the Gap?
Are You a Protector or a Ruler?
Who Are You?
Are You an Image Bearer or a Wad of Cells?
Are You a Watchman?
Where Do You Find Meaning?
The Lamb of God as Told by a Scribe
What Love Is This?
Remember: The Symbols of Passover Explained
Tea and Rest
Do You Have Peace?
What Makes a Marriage Work?
When Life Is Awful
Are You Strong Enough?
Rules
Seasons
Be Faithful through Suffering
Do You Know the Word?
Wake Up! Strengthen What Remains
Are You Spit in God's Mouth?
Is Jezebel in Your Midst?
Do You Stand Against Satan Himself?
Are You Tired of Being a Mom?
What in the World Is Happening?
It's Not My Story
How Would Your Faith Compare?
Are You Sinking?
Are You a Rule Follower?
Useful for Him
An Intimate Moment with Mary
The Worldview that Makes the
   Underclass

Thoughts to Ponder
What Does It Take To Know the
    Heart of God?

See the Story in the Stars
Do the Scriptures Burn You?
Being in His Presence
Contentment: It's Not for the Timid
How Secure Are You?
How Do You Respond To Stupid People?
The Earthworm Is My Hero
Heart Issues or Issues of the Heart
Things Aren't Always What They Seem
More faith articles are found here:
alt
under the Table of Contents. Also available in book form.
Or here:
alt
under the Table of Contents. Also available in book form.
Articles on Suffering can be found  here, 
alt
under Table of Contents. Also available in book form.
Special Days
Remember: The Symbols of 
   Passover Explained
    

Aug 12, 2017 The Heavens Declare the Glory of God
July 4th, Freedom
What Is an American Soldier?
Valentine's Day: A Day of Love?
Memorial Day-A Day To Remember
Veterans' Day-To Honor Our Men
Fall Colors
First Thanksgiving Day
    Proclamation

Christmas: Stories behind the Songs
Christmas: Stories behind the Songs, part 2