I didn't grow up in the church. My life was radically changed at the age of 14 when I finally found what I "just knew" existed all along: God. I found myself at a youth group gathering surrounded by students that were just "different". They had this genuine love and care for one another, a light in their eyes, and a hope and happiness in their hearts that I was drawn to. It didn't take me long to know that I was in the right place.
That next Sunday morning I accompanied my friend to church who had so enthusiastically brought me to youth group just a few days before. I sat in the pew listening intently. When I stood to sing the closing song, the preacher asked us to come forward if we wanted to learn more about following God. I stepped out into the aisle, walked right up to the front and have never looked back.
I LOVE the church.
Maybe it isn't surprising then that my husband is a Pastor and well, I love being a Pastor's wife. However, there is one thing that surprised me in ministry and after 15 years has proved true over and over again. There are a lot of unhappy people. Everywhere. Yes, even in the church.
Maybe you have seen or heard the saying, "God doesn't call us to be happy, He calls us to be holy." Well of course, we are called to be holy, but does that mean we can't be happy too?
In the Happiness Dare, Jennifer Dukes Lee writes, "Happiness is not the great opposite of holiness. Piper says it like this: "Happiness is part of holiness...if you tried to describe what it means to be a holy person and left out happiness in God, you can't do it. There is no such thing as holiness minus happiness in God. Happiness in God is the essence of holiness."
And I wonder...how many of us really believe that our God is a God of joy. Even happiness. How many of us are striving to be "happy" without even recognizing first and foremost where our true happiness comes from. God delights, takes pleasure, is glad, is happy, finds joy and on and on and on. Our true joy and happiness is from Him and in Him.
I think back to those students who first exemplified true happiness for me. I think back to that Sunday I stepped out into the aisle and into a new life with Him. And I am grateful. Happiness found me that day.
Are you struggling to find joy today? Have you been following God, yet still feeling unhappy?
The Happiness Dare is a book that dives into this topic of happiness and dares you to make a change. Here is a bit about the book below:
Would you like to be happier? No matter who you are or how you feel, chances are you would answer yes. And Jennifer Dukes Lee was no different. For years, she wrestled with a constant nagging sense that she wasn’t as happy as she could be. At the same time, she felt guilty for wanting something so “shallow.” After all, doesn’t God only care that we find joy in our circumstances? Or is it possible that God really does want us to be happy?
Determined to get answers, Jennifer embarked on a quest to find out whether our happiness matters to God and, if so, how to pursue it in a way that pleases him.
In The Happiness Dare, you’ll learn what she discovered, including how to:
- Understand the five happiness styles and maximize yours
- Overcome the four biggest obstacles that stand in the way of your happiness
- Find your happiness sweet spot―the place, relationship, or activity that gives you the greatest sense of well-being
- Discover what you can do in just five minutes a day to be happier
Today I am thrilled that Jennifer Dukes Lee is giving away
3 copies of The Happiness Dare to our community here!
Enter to win the Rafflecopter below: