Peace of My Heart

An encouraging voice to drown out the noise

~What is Happy?~ January 28, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 8:04 am
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“I just want to be happy.”

So many times I have had friends look at me with tears in their eyes as they whispered those words.  And my heart broke because I could see the pain and confusion they were feeling….and I could relate.  I too have been the girl who sat crying, feeling lost and wondering where my happy went.

But what is happy?

Is it a feeling, a state of being, an action, a choice, a lifestyle?

Truthfully, I have no idea.

I did turn to google for an answer, and as always, it didn’t disappoint.  I was provided with a rather long list of synonyms for the word that made me wonder if we’ve got it all wrong.

First up was a list that dealt with your outer appearance:  smiling, beaming, grinning, radiant.  So part of happy is a choice to plaster the smile on your face and look the part.  “By all accounts, she appeared happy from the outside looking in.”  In this case, it is easy to fool others into believing you are good when truthfully you are falling apart on the inside.  This kind of happy can be deceptive.

Next was an abundance of synonyms that I would consider to be feelings:  thrilled, exhilarated, ecstatic, overjoyed.  All of these typically come as a result of something great happening to you.  In this case, your happy is dependent on outside influence & the feeling may be fleeting once the circumstances change.  “For the first time in a long time, she was happy because she was rewarded for her efforts at work.”  What happens when the initial excitement wears off, does the feeling stick?  This kind of happy is fickle.

Then it got a little deeper:  pleased, content, satisfied, gratified.  To me, these words imply a constant, unchanging foundation.  So in other words, this kind of happy is not contingent on anyone or anything, it’s an inner peace that cannot be shaken.  “She was happy with her life.  Through the successes & failures, highs & lows, gains & losses…she was happy.”  These kind of people don’t have different circumstances, they have a different attitude toward their circumstances.  This kind of happy is steadfast.

So the question is:  What kind of happy are you looking for?  Is it a feeling that comes and goes based on the world around you?  Or are you seeking a deeper sense of contentment that is firmly rooted in something that doesn’t waver?

“I have learned to be satisfied with what I have and with whatever happens.  I know how to live when I am poor and when I have plenty. I have learned the secret of how to live through any kind of situation—when I have enough to eat or when I am hungry, when I have everything I need or when I have nothing.  Christ is the one who gives me the strength I need to do whatever I must do.” (Philippians 4:11-13 ERV)

happy people

 

~Delight in the Lord~ April 12, 2013

My_Hearts_Desire

“Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires.”

(Psalm 37:4)

To delight in someone or something means to experience complete satisfaction.  When is the last time you truly delighted in something?

You can rejoice simply in who the Lord is and be satisfied even if the only thing He ever does for you is provide you your salvation.

However, I find quite often that new believers and even those who have a seasoned faith, find it difficult to find joy in the Lord unless He is meeting their every request.  Take note that in the above Scripture, the call to delight in the Lord comes first, then it says He will give you your heart’s desires.  I do not believe this verse to mean that God will give you whatever you want.  I think that if we take pleasure in being in His presence and focus on Him, that He will change our heart’s desires to line up with what He wants for us.  Then we will be satisfied that our wants have been met along with our needs because they will be what God desires for us and not our own selfish yearnings.

Today when you pray to God, instead of rattling off your list of “I wants,” try starting out with words of thanksgiving and praise to the God who has saved you from an eternity in the pits of hell.  Then ask Him what He wants from you, and not the other way around.  Try this.

  • Replace your prayer for more cash-flow with “God, what are you trying to teach me through this financial struggle?”
  • Rather than beg Him to send you a better job, cry out to Him “Lord, show me how to be thankful for the employment I have when so many are desperate for work.”
  • As opposed to fussing and complaining to Him about the wide array of difficult personalities He has plopped into your life in the form of your children, say “Thank you, Lord, for the gifts that my kids are to me.  Help me to embrace them for their individuality and show me how to love them for who they are and not who I want them to be.”
  • When you start to question God as to why He had you marry this person who is so obviously your polar opposite, say a quick, “Lord, thank you for this partner to walk through life’s joys and pains with; even when they drive me slap nuts, thank you for the blessing of marriage that is sacred to You.”

When you change your perspective to see what God wants for you as opposed to what you think you need, you will see every circumstance of your life in a new light.  You will be able to delight in the Lord at all times.