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 WEB

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

It was a hard life, but there was an incredible generation of people that came out of that era. When times became hard, the people adapted and became tough. The other side of the coin is that like a child, 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 be happy. The reality is that seventy percent of the people that 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, but these trials will only make you better. You will become a wiser, stronger, better person when you come out the other side, and eventually you will. We need to learn to be content wherever we are like Paul wrote about in Philippians 4:12.

We watched a documentary recently on happiness and after a careful study, they 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 a mansion in America.

It turns out that pursuing happiness directly, only made it more elusive. While things like helping others, resulted in a huge happiness boost. It is better to give than to receive. When people focused less on themselves and on their own needs, it actually caused them to be happier in life.

I felt that it went right along with scripture. 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 the happiness of others, and your own happiness will improve.

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 will not last very long. Learn to be content where you are, for you already have 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.

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