When It Is Difficult To Smile
"A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit." - Proverbs 15:13
"Smile though your heart is aching. Smile, even though it's breaking..." says the lyric of a song. "Don't worry. Be happy!" goes another song - and why not?
Doesn't everyone want to see a happy smile or a happy face? Doesn't everyone need happiness and you, want joy in life?
We easily recognize a beautiful smile. It makes us smile when we see the infectious smile of an actor/comedian, a model, entertainer or the close-up smile in a tv commercial or even a smile from a gracious old lady. We smile at a poker-face lady, when little girls giggles and when a newborn baby smile for the first time.
But some people rarely smile when they are fearful, uptight, full of stress, disappointed, frustrated or if wakes up on the wrong side of the bed. A genuine smile is an expression of an overflowing heart of love.
There are times really when it is difficult to smile. But it is not impossible. A smile is a by-product of being "happy." If you are happy it's always easy to smile. But there is something far more important than being happy, it is "joy!"
The English word "happy" comes from the same root word as "happenstance" which means, "good luck, chance, or fortune."
Happiness is conditional and fleeting. It is usually dependent on circumstances, situation, environment, academic or athletic achievement or pleasure. As the world defines, it involves your family, your home, your marriage and relationship, friends, health, money and fame, travel and looks. Knows that there is no lasting satisfaction on these things.
We've placed far too much emphasis on happiness as a right that we deserve. The truth is, happiness is dependent on your ability to cope with your circumstances in life.
How to find true happiness
God want you happy. Any satisfaction we gain in our quest fades quickly and becomes a vague memory, if it can be remembered at all. Oh, to be sure, there are happy events along the way, unexpected moments when we experience pure delight. But those moments are fleeting, and we can never go back in time to relive them and recapture the sensation.
If you have been trying to find happiness through your own effort, "may i recommend Christ to you?"
This reminds me of the song I enjoys humming and singing back when I was just a baby Christian almost 25 years ago...
"I will enter His gates, with thanksgiving in my heart, I will enter His gates with praise. I will say this is the day, that the Lord has made. I will enter rejoice for Jesus makes me glad..."
Jesus is the One who can give us the power we need to live above our circumstances. To be happy is to realize that God can work within us, making our lives the outworking with His Spirit within us. We will never be happier than when we are in the center of His will and letting Him work through.
Now happiness is the world's counterfeit of Christian joy! But does this mean that godly people cannot be happy or that happy people can't be spiritual?
If you want true happiness, don't search for it. You will find it as you make God's will your goal in life.
Real happiness is a by-product of joy. Something that flows like a bubbling spring of river from the reservoir with joy in the heart.
Remember the old classic song that goes like: "I got joy like a river, I got joy like a river. I got joy like a river in my soul." Such a beautiful song to reminds us of God's overflowing joy.
The source of Joy
The bible tells us little about happiness but much about joy. The New Testament says that joy is the fruit of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. "....and the fruit of the Holy Spirit is love, peace, joy...." Galatians 5:22-23
To live with a joy-filled life, we must "walk in the spirit." Then we can rejoice inspite of our circumstances.
"Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I say it rejoice!" Philippians 4:4
Have you ever thought why some can maintain joy while others can't? This kind of tough joy can irritate those who might want it very much but not knowing how it comes, choose to scoff instead.
This kind joy comes from within.
Its source is Christ!
He is the real joy for which we have been searching all our lives, Everything we desire is found in Him - and infinitely more. The God-dimension brings joy and joy comes from knowing that God not circumstances control in life. This is the only kind of happiness that endures and this money cannot buy.
We're confused today because we think that joy and happiness are synonymous. Think of a few minutes about the difference:
Suppose someone asks you, " How happy are you on a scale of 1 to 10?" If you know the difference between joy and being happy, you might look somewhat amaze and say, "Happy?", "You've got to be kidding." And will add, "I will work hard, if happiness is my goal, I'd forget about God. I will just get rich, buy everything that money can buy. I will write a book about positive thinking and travel around the world." "Now if you are asking about peace and joy amidst the storm of life, that's another matter."
- Happiness is dependent on circumstances. Joy transcends them.
- Joy is not material gain. Happiness is material.
- Joy is spiritual. Happiness is based on possession and situation.
- Joy is eternal and is abiding and remain even when beauty fades or material things gone.
- Happiness involves life here and now. Joy includes both time and eternity.
- Joy is peace seeking, while happiness is self-seeking.
- Joy is a gift and happiness is a by-product of joy.
- Joy depends on Jesus and happiness depends on happenings.
Is there anyone in your life who makes it hard for you to smile? Do you know someone who claims to be happy but always grumpy?
Personally, I knew one. He confesses being " very happy with his life", yet he is always mad, angry and cursing, insulting and abusive. This person is God challenge to me.
Or maybe that person is - you, who needs peace despite fame and riches. Go and relax, reach out and give yourself or that person a chance to experience joy. You might discover something really worth something about and will surely put a smile on your face. ;-)
Nothing completes our joy, but God. Let Him control and take full charge of your life. That's when real smile filled with joy comes from.
Smile, God loves you!