Hey bloggers...Happy St. Patrick's Day...
I was going to write a cool post for today, but after we got home from the Safehouse banquet, I had so many calls and e-mails and texts to return that the time got away from me, and now it's too late for me to think clearly and write anything really intelligent. But I want to post something, so I'm going to publish the little piece that I wrote yesterday for my One On One on the CITN site.
BTW, loved the service yesterday...the way Chandra flowed was awesome...great crowd...good things happening...sat next to Ralph Reed last night at the banquet and got to talk politics for an hour...very cool exchange...
In the past I've taught on the difference between joy and happiness. Joy, of course, is the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) and flows from the inside out; while happiness (or "hap"iness) is the emotional reaction to external events or "haps", and flows from the outside, in.
Hap - an accidental happening; "he recorded all the little haps and mishaps of his life"; chance event, fortuity, accident, stroke - anything that happens suddenly or by chance without an apparent cause; "winning the lottery was a happy accident"
As stated above, a mishap is an unfortunate event. The word perhaps, means, basically "if everything is favorable" or "if the haps line up". In other words, we are "hap"py when good things "hap"pen to us. And happiness is, indeed, a good thing, and is even something that we have the power to create in our lives. The only downside to searching for happiness is that it does have an opposite – unhappiness – or the emotional reaction to mishaps in our lives. That's where joy comes in. Joy is something superior to happiness because it has no opposite. There is no such word as "unjoy"!
The potential for happiness is within your mind, while joy comes from within your spirit. When you stop the chatter of the mind and expel your worries and fears you find out that happiness surfaces from within your thoughts, especially as they are managed through your spirit by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not downplaying the pursuit of happiness. Not only is it one of our "unalienable rights" as Americans, it is something that the Scriptures talk about quite frequently, and is mentioned as being a blessing. Happiness is a good thing…a very good thing, in fact…it is just not the best thing. Happiness under-girded by joy is the optimum. When you are "joy-ful", you are protected from being devastated by the un"hap"iness that comes as a result of the disappointing things that can "hap"pen in your life. The joy of the Lord is your strength because it serves as a kind of insurance policy…it is there at all times, regardless of what "hap"pens, so that you can actually walk in joy, even when you experience un"hap"piness!
But happiness is not something far away and unattainable, and on a deeper level, its manifestation does not have to depend on circumstances, at all. Your mind can be renewed to the place that you are unmoved by what you feel emotionally, and can actually experience joy and happiness, simultaneously! That's what David was talking about when he said, "my cup runs over!".
Happiness can be one of the most important treasures in life if you know how to keep it in perspective. It is within your mind, which means it is in your soul. All you have to do is dig it out and enjoy it.
In fact, there really is no need to search for happiness, or even to create it, for that matter. There is no need to undergo all kinds of external experiences in order to enjoy it. It is always here, deep within your soul, and when your spirit and soul come into alignment, you will find that they flow beautifully together.
Make the decision to BE happy today, and you will be, because you have the joy of the Lord!
Don't worry…be happy!