“‘Yes and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will always have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know!” Philippians 1:19-22
Here Paul is like yeah I’m in jail, so what, I ain’t ashamed to say it- Jesus is working for me- y’all just keep praying. I’m good cause He’s good… and if they try and kill me? Jokes on them cause heaven is much more comfortable than this jail cell. I’m happy right here- it’s okay, I’m okay.
I’m happy right here. I’m not sure where you are in life right now, but odds are you’re not totally “happy” in it. We could always have a better something- a better bank balance, a better job, a bigger house, a better relationship…. Are there parts of you that you’d rather not share? Things you’re ashamed of? Things you look back on and think what in the WORLD was I thinking? Just completely embarrassed, maybe even right now. I do.
Not only is Paul not embarrassed that he’s in jail, he’s just as happy as I am with my hand in a box of twinkies. How?
Happiness is not the bank, the job, or the house. It’s not the relationship, the marriage, or the just because flowers. Happiness is not the size 4, the diamond ring, or the perfect shade of lipstick.
Happiness is deeper.
Flowers die, yall. Lipstick wears off and your body changes even if the calories in a Twinkie doesn’t. There’s a reason why these things aren’t happiness; they’re temporary. The feel goods aren’t the forevers, they are just feel goods.
I’ve learned that happiness is the heart, not its desires. It’s choosing everyday to not be yesterday; don’t be seasons, don’t be feelings- they are ever changing. Don’t let happiness be your circumstances because those circumstances could be your prison if you allow it. Happiness is deeper. Let happiness be faith in a plan that is greater than your own- A plan that’s not always easy, circumstances that are not always as flawless as that perfect shade of pink lipstick, seasons that just don’t seem to shed those painful leaves fast enough. Just because we’re not in the perfect place doesn’t mean we’re not in the middle of the perfect plan. Happy right here- because He knows; He takes care of.. He’s errorless in everything and wrong in nothing.
Paul was happy in prison because happy wasn’t a place for Paul but a way. The way.
Jesus isn’t just some guy, a Sunday in church, the painful plot in a book of heros- He is the way- He is the happiness. Fulfillment of our salvation and for our hearts.
I read once that the only person capable of healing the human heart is the one who created it. If you’ve found yourself with a life full of good things and a heart that’s lagging behind- look deeper. What is happiness to you? If it holds any chance of being taken from you, you haven’t dug deep enough.
Not a perishable smile but permanent choice.
Love and Tuesdays,