Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. James 5:13
What would it take to make you really happy? What would make you the kind of person who awakens each morning saying, “Thank You, Lord. Another new day! I am so happy to be alive!” Instead, many people wake up thinking, “Why am I even here?” Today, let’s explore what it would take to make you a happy and content person.
Right now, you are saying, “He already knows what would make me really happy — the return of my spouse.” Before you give that answer, let’s look at what seems to make people happy.
Maybe it’s money. If you are struggling to pay the bills, money would certainly seem to be the key to your happiness. I once heard a Christian multi-millionaire speak on “It’s Lousy To Be Rich.” He said that even though he had six homes around the world, he still could only sleep in one bed at a time. He had few real friends because people he wanted to be close to were either after his money or were intimidated by his vast wealth. He had nothing to wish for, to save money for or to dream about. Hearing that man’s sincerity, I suspected he would have gladly traded places with anyone in that congregation.
Do you think fame would make you happy? Imagine not being able to go out to a restaurant without being mobbed by fans or having bodyguards everywhere you went. Your every move would be reported by some publication. Everything you did would be under constant scrutiny. Being famous might bring you more hindrances than happiness.
Good looks? That might be it! Would being a beautiful person make you happy? Be warned that you would have to be so careful not to damage your beautiful body, even restricting what you ate and the activities you participated in, for the sake of your beautiful body. Your happiness would be so fragile that an accident could take it away.
Would good health make you happy? If an individual were healed today, they could still count their time remaining on earth in years, as opposed to all of eternity. To someone depending on good health for their happiness, a different affliction could strike them down at any time.
Since none of these worldly secrets to happiness can make an individual happy, how about a bit from each? Maybe if you had just a little more money, just a few more people appreciated you, you looked just a little better, and had health that was somewhat improved. Would you then be happy? You have only increased your risk of losing your happiness four-fold, just as Job did.
I forgot! Your spouse coming home would make you happy, correct? It would thrill us also, but if your entire happiness depends on another individual, their being called home by the Lord would some day take away your happiness.
How, then, can you experience real happiness consistently, day after day, for the rest of your life? Here comes the key:
Finding the will of God for your life and then doing it.
Happiness is that simple. Once you discover what the Lord wants you to do, and start doing it, you will achieve happiness.
This is what the LORD says — your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea.” Isaiah 48:17-18
Each day Charlyne and I hear over and over how miserable prodigal spouses appear. We read what they have told their standing mates and about their actions, as well as their appearance. The bottom line is that your prodigal is miserable because they are living outside of the will of God.
Here is the bottom line. If you are serious about seeking real happiness, get alone with God and discover His will for your life — and then go about doing it with everything you have. Then tomorrow, get alone with God and discover His will for your life — and then go about doing it with everything you have. The following day, do the same thing. Doing this every day for the rest of your life will bring you happiness.
The Lord may not be calling you to be a missionary to a distant country, but He may be calling you to be a missionary to a friend or co-worker who needs to know about Jesus. He may be calling you to change diapers in your church’s nursery. If He is, even that assignment will bring you happiness.
Some of the most miserable people we have met are men and women whom God has told to stand for their marriage and they have walked away from that assignment. Some of the happiest people we know are standers, who have none of the happiness traits the world envisions, but they have discovered the will of God for their marriage and are standing in His strength, not their own, but for the duration, until Jesus brings their prodigal home.
If God has told you to stand for marriage restoration, you will not be happy doing anything else.
If God has told your prodigal spouse to repent and to go home, I can assure you from experience, they will never be happy and have true joy until they do.
The one you love may not follow God’s will the first time they are told, but His voice to the prodigal only gets louder with time.
Charlyne and I pray that today both you and your spouse may find the true will of God and do it. That is when marriages are restored!
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11-13
Because He lives,