Personal GEM # 1. Happiness
happiness, but many, as I did, confuse
happiness. There is a huge difference. Let me explain.
My business career was skyrocketing beyond my own belief. I had a plan for my success that would make me
happy. My goal was to be so successful that I would own a private jet and would have sufficient money to go anywhere I wanted and never worry about the cost or the time away.
I was envisioning my ladder of success. At the top was my jet. The bottom rung of my ladder was to get the right job. Rung two: get promoted. Three: buy a nice car. Four: buy my first house. Five: vacation in Hawaii. Six: own my own company and be my own boss. Seven: buy a Mercedes. Eight: travel internationally. Nine: own a bigger and better home in an exclusive area. Ten: have mega bucks in the stock market. Eleven: belong to an exclusive private club. Twelve: buy a vacation home. Thirteen: buy a yacht. And so forth. You've got the idea. I was on my way to the jet—
I figured that when I got to the top rung—the jet—I would be
happy. But, something happened to my plan along the way. My possessions began to own me and control me. I had the toys but was less and less happy.
Finally, God got my attention. He humbled me and took my focus off of my self-serving, pleasure-seeking life style. I asked Jesus Christ to be the Lord of my life and accepted His gift of grace to right my relationship with God.
I learned that there is a significant difference between
happiness. A huge and profound difference! I had plenty of
pleasure—every day. I was young—in my 40's—and wealthy. I was a friend and business partner of John Wayne. I kept company with the
people in Newport Beach. I was invited to all the “in” parties. But, and this BUT is huge, I was not happy.
I learned that
happiness pulled me in opposite directions.
God changed my priorities. I climbed down my ladder of success and leaned it against another wall. That “other” wall was seeking God and His will for my life.
I learned that there is no
happiness apart from
peace with God. I was searching for happiness in things of pleasure when all the while peace with God had eluded me. Once I got right with God and had peace with Him through His Son, Jesus Christ, my search for happiness ended. I experienced complete peace with God in spite of my sinfulness, and with that came happiness--lasting and real happiness.
Once that took place in my life, and I was at
peace, I was out of the chase for things. Ever since, I have been
happy, peacefully happy, and under all circumstances—financially and even physically, as in 1993 when I was told that I had an incurable and fatal disease, and had less than a year to live. My
happiness is permanent. It does not go up and down with the stock market or my net worth or with undesirable health.
My most favorite of all scripture verses is this:
“Therefore, since we have been made right in God's sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.” (Rom 5:1)
Material things are great--a fabulus home, a classic car, lots of travel, and more. They bring lots of pleasure. I enjoy them. But if a person wants
happiness--it only comes when one is at peace with God, and that only comes by placing ones faith and trust in Jesus Christ.
Consider these verses from Scripture:
Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (Philip. 4:6)
And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. (Col. 3:15)
"I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn't like the peace the world gives. So don't be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:27)
When we are at peace with God, Christ's peace will rule in our hearts. We do not have to earn God's peace. Jesus gives it to us freely, if we will accept it. Worldly pleasure does not bring peace with God or happiness. God's Holy Spirit is our source of happiness.
Happiness Is peace with God through a relationship with Jesus Christ.