A Wonderful Life

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you fall into various temptations, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. Let endurance have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2'4 WEB.

My Dad was born during the great depression of the early 1930s. They had no electricity or running water in the rural areas where he grew up. There was no refrigeration, so they carried large blocks of ice from the ice house to keep things cool in a cellar. Money was scarce. No one in the area had a telephone. There was no indoor plumbing. The family shared an outhouse in the backyard. They had none of what most of us take for granted. Yet, they were happy.

It was a hard life. Yet, there was an incredible generation of people who came out of that era. When times become hard, people adapt and become tough. The other side of the coin is that, just like children, when life becomes too easy, we tend to become spoiled, unthankful, and unhappy. Bored.

We often think that if we had such and such, then we would really be happy. The reality is that seventy percent of the people who win the lottery end badly. Many commit suicide, and their divorce rate is four times that of the national average. That doesn't sound that happy.

Many people are having it tough today and are going through so much just to live. Yet, these trials will only make you better. You will be wiser, stronger, and better when you reach the other side. Eventually, you will. We need to learn to be content wherever we are, as Paul wrote about in Philippians 4:12.

We watched a documentary recently on happiness. After a careful study, the researchers found that your circumstances only account for ten percent of your total happiness level. After your basic needs were met, like food, water, and shelter, adding more belongings made little difference. Possessions have diminishing returns.

Their studies showed that people who lived in poverty in third-world countries were often happier than people living in mansions. Pursuing happiness directly only made it more elusive. While simple things like helping others resulted in a considerable happiness boost. For it is better to give than to receive. When people focused less on themselves and their own needs, it actually caused them to be happier in life.

The documentary went right along with the teachings of Jesus. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Give, and it will be given unto you. Pray for others, and your own circumstances will change. So seek to improve the lives of others, and your own happiness will increase. Isn't that amazing?

When your faith is stretched, it will come back stronger. Just like you have to stress a muscle to make it grow, so does your faith. Don't get too stressed out in the hard times. Pace yourself. When you burn a candle at both ends, it won't last very long. Learn to be content where you are, for God has given you a wonderful life.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I thank You today for the wonderful life that You have given me. I appreciate all that You have blessed me with. Please help me see through Your eyes and impress on me what really matters. Make what is important to You important to me. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen!

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