North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

A young person whom I had known, but not seen in a few years, came to me and asked, “What’s wrong with me? I just can’t find happiness anymore. I’ve tried to make myself happy, but I can’t find it.” If there’s one thing I’ve discovered in life, it’s the harder you grasp for something, because of selfish motives, the further it eludes you. It’s a pity there’s so many problems created by life that it reduces our happiness and joy of living.

I told this person, “When you start trying to make others happy instead of yourself, you’ll find your own happiness.” Rather than trying to manufacture your own happiness you should serve others and the association will leave you feeling accomplished.

Our unhappiness is the result of living in a fallen world where disappointments, ill-will, and resentments cause us to isolate ourselves. If not physically, we’re tempted subconsciously to serve ourselves only. It’s time we start thinking about others instead of ourselves. Research suggests how positively you see other people, shows how satisfied you are with your own life.

The age-old test for determining optimism and pessimism is to answer whether a glass is half-full (optimist) or half empty (pessimist). How you view the people around you speaks volumes about who you are. If you speak well of people you’re prone to be more enthusiastic, happy, and kind-hearted. But if you view people negatively, suspiciously, and if you have a poor attitude toward others you tend to be more judgmental and bitter about small things. Matthew 7:3 says, “Why do you look at the speck in another person’s eye, but don’t notice the log in your own eye?” This verse has a dual purpose. It serves as a command and a warning against judging hypocritically or inaccurately.

Look for ways to encourage people. Even if you’ve been heart-broken, find someone of your same gender who’s at a loss or seems unhappy like you. In helping others, you help yourself. A Scripture verse found in Proverbs says, “A glad heart makes a happy face, but when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken” (Proverbs 15:13).

Are there any reasons to be happy in this chaotic, devastated world? Is there any wonder why some are at a loss for joy and happiness in life? If you’re a Christian, there are reasons to be cheerful. One of those reasons is because of the power of Christ to forgive sins. Matthew 9:2 says, “Be of good cheer, your sins are forgiven.” The power of Christ to forgive sins offers the greatest possible reason for rejoicing. Silver and gold can’t buy forgiveness. Medicine and Science can’t produce forgiveness. And guardian angels, although they’re sent by God, can’t take away your sins. But Christ reaches down in the gutter of despair to lift the sad and brokenhearted and place them on a higher plane where God’s touch changes them forever!

A second reason to be happy is because of the provisions of Christ to overcome. Who is it that can overcome in a world filled with troubles such as the one in which we live? None other than Jesus Christ! For he has told us: “In this world you’ll have trouble. But be of good courage, I have power and have overcome the world” (John 16:33). You and I have personal struggles in a world that’s torn by war, strife, and chaos. But, hope is within your reach when you choose to seek the positive in the negative circumstances.

If you’re serious about finding happiness, then it can also be found in the protection of Christ when you’re in danger. The Lord told the Apostle Paul to be encouraged and of good cheer when he was about to stand and testify in Jerusalem (Acts 23:11). Those who try to live for Christ are subject to persecutions. False accusations can and will be made about you when you’re trying to do the right things. When you fall short, people will be quick to point out your faults. But Christ will protect you and he is still saying, “Be of good cheer!”

And finally, a fourth reason you can be happy is because of the presence of Christ to banish fear. When the disciples were tossed and driven on the stormy sea, Christ’s presence calmed their fears. He said, “Take courage and be of good cheer, I am here, don’t be afraid” (Matthew 14:27). The presence of Christ will calm the winds and waves and heal the hurts in your life when the storms move in on you.

You can find the happiness you seek. It’s found in a close relationship with Jesus Christ. And despite the troubles and discouragement you may be facing, you can live rejoicing every day. It’s a matter of knowing him and recalling what he can and will do for you. This is the secret of happiness. Everything else is secondary. Don’t miss this in life whatever you do—-don’t miss Jesus!

  • This weekly column is written by Matt Dobson. A graduate of Florida State University and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He’s the author of the “Living With Purpose” book series, “The Truth Will Set You Free”, and “Running With Purpose”. Matt can be reached by email: He welcomes your thoughts concerning faith, belief, and Christian living.
Posted by on Mar 1 2015. Filed under Churches, Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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