It seems everywhere I look, people want to know how to be happy because they claim they are not. Colleges teach courses on happiness, hundreds of books are written every year on the subject of happiness and magazines line the newsstands every new year claiming: 10 Ways to Achieve Happiness, Make This Year Your Happiest Ever, Take This Quiz: Are You A Happy Person? and, This Is Your Year For Happiness ~ You Deserve It!
As is my usual habit when I’m investigating some thought, I turn to my handy Webster’s 1828. Happiness is defined as ~ The agreeable sensations which spring from the enjoyment of good; that state of a being in which his desires are gratified, by the enjoyment of pleasure without pain; Happiness is comparative. Perfect happiness, or pleasure unalloyed with pain, is not attainable in this life. Good luck; good fortune. Receiving good from something that falls or comes to one unexpectedly, or by an event that is not within control. Enjoying pleasure from the gratification of appetites or desires.
For instance, if my grandson were to come and visit, I would be really happy because I desire to see him. My happiness would however, be fleeting because sooner or later that means he has to return back to his home state, and my desire to see him is now being unfulfilled and I become unhappy.
Also, what may bring happiness to one person, may bring distress to someone else. If my grandson were to come and stay and his behavior wasn’t so good while he was here, I may be in distress due to his visit, but his mom might be overjoyed that at least he isn’t acting up at home!
Happiness is indeed comparative! I don’t really believe it’s happiness that people are really searching for, but peace and joy. These two things can only be found in Christ and do not dissolve based on circumstances, nor are they only evident outwardly. They are only God-given. This is why they are part of the fruit of the Spirit ~ Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Gentleness, Long-suffering, Goodness, Faith, Meekness and Temperance (self-control). Galatians 5:22-23.
As I was sitting here at my make-shift desk tapping away at the keys and trying to discern exactly where the Holy Spirit was leading this, He laid it on my heart to do another complete study on the fruit of the Spirit. I had done a study many years ago, but this time will be different.
So, over the next few days we’ll be going on a treasure hunt. A treasure hunt for FRUIT! … fruit of the Spirit, that is. THIS is going to be exciting! Care to join me?