In the Bible we read amazing stories about people like the apostle Paul, who while in prison actually praised God and wrote letters to others about happiness. This is quite impressive, but if God is to be real in our lives, it helps to see evidence we can relate to today. And that is exactly what we do see. As a psychologist, I walk through some of the most difficult times of life with people, and I have seen over and over again that God meets people at the depths. And when things are hard, he gives them peace and sustenance.
It really is true that happiness is a result of what you believe and what you do, not a result of what happens to you. If you understand this, you can have a happy life.
Most people thing they will be happy if things go well or if such and such happens: “If I could just get that job, or that person, or that house, or have this relationship work out.” Their well-being depends on what is happening to them and around them. And when good things happen, they are happy … for a moment. But having no inner happiness of their own, they lose their fleeting happiness as soon as something goes wrong. It is like being lost at sea with no compass, anchor, or harbor. If the water is smooth and the sun is shining, you have a nice day. But if not … it can get really bad.
Want to know of having a good life that is not dependent on the stock market, your wacky family, your boss, or whether or not you make that sale or get that relationship you have been pining for! Here is how Jesus described this secret:
“Anyone who listens to my teaching and obeys me is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse, because it is built on rock. But anyone who hears my teaching and ignores it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will fall with a mighty crash.”
When we are grounded in the foundation of Christ and his words, having put them into practice, as he says here, then no matter what life throws at us day to day, we can rise above it and still be secure. Our happiness is based not on what happens to us but on what and who we believe in and what we do.
The Secret Things of God
Dr. Henry Cloud