Happy are those who fear the LORD. Yes, happy are those who delight in doing what he commands (Psalms 112:1).
Do you want to be miserable? Here are some tips on how to fulfill your desires.
The famed English writer, Charles Kingsley, once wrote, "If you wish to be miserable, you must think about yourself, about what you want, what you like, and what respect people ought to pay you. Then to you nothing will be pure. You will spoil everything you touch; you will make sin and misery out of everything God sends you."
Self-centered people are always unhappy. In the 1970s, Chaplain Earl Jabay wrote a thought-provoking book entitled, "The Kingdom of Self," in which he describes seven attitudes of a self-centered individual. Permit me to share a few of them:
"I am power: I can do anything I set my mind to."
"I am truth: Whatever I think, is right."
"I am right: If people don't agree with me, they have a problem."
"I am a messiah. I don't need God; I can lift myself by my own boot straps."
"I am perfect: If you don't meet my standard of perfection, I have the right to show disapproval."
Any one of these attitudes will result in a life of misery. How much better it is to forsake the kingdom of self and live joyously in the Kingdom of God.
You see the fruit of misery everywhere, in crime, immorality, broken homes and on and on. It almost always stems from self-centeredness and selfishness. It is always related to ignoring God and His commandments to self-sacrifice and to love.
I do not recommend misery, but I do recommend its opposites - joy and peace. Joy and peace are states of mind and spirit that are promised by our great Creator God and Savior to all who trust and obey Him. They are fruit of the Spirit -- the Spirit who indwells all those who put their trust in our Lord Jesus Christ. That fruit is manifest in our lives when we invite the Holy Spirit to fill and control us.
In the Beatitudes of Matthew 5:3-11, our Lord gave us nine keys of happiness. The Greek word "makarios" is usually translated "blessed," but it also means happy.
For examples, verses 6-9 give us the first four: "Happy are those who long to be just and good, for they shall be completely satisfied. Happy are the kind and merciful, for they shall be shown mercy. Happy are those whose hearts are pure, for they shall see God. Happy are those who strive for peace -- they shall be called the sons of God" (TLB).
It just doesn't make sense to remain miserable when, if we obey God, we can be assured of being happy!
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
Copyright (c) 2003, Bill Bright. All rights reserved. However, readers may copy and distribute this message as desired, without restrictions in number, as long as the content is not altered. Forwarding this e-mail to friends is encouraged. For many evangelistic and spiritual growth materials, visit the Campus Crusade for Christ Web site at ccci.org. See campuscrusade.com for Bill Bright's own materials.