“I think myself happy …” (Acts 26:2 KJV).
The apostle Paul had been in prison for more than two years at the time, and he had been patiently waiting for his day in court to face his accusers. Evidently, there was nothing wrong doing or any crime on his part, except that he was a disciple of Christ. Paul was being accused of spreading the Gospel of Christ, in which the religious fanatics could not stand the truth of the righteousness of God by faith. They determined in their hearts to get rid of Paul. Nevertheless, in spite of the many death threats Paul received, he was a happy man.
Would you care to be happy? What was Paul’s secret of being happy in the middle of hardships, persecution, sufferings, trials and temptations, and so forth?
As you would know, joy definitely differs from happiness. A believer who has the Kingdom of God in his heart has the joy in the Holy Ghost in him. As a matter of fact this joy in a believer’s heart is difficult to explain, impossible to describe, hard to articulate, and impossible to let somebody understand the meaning and the effects of joy in a believer’s life. The joy of the Lord can only be experienced when you allow the Kingdom of God into your heart. This experience of joy is what the Bible declares “the joy unspeakable.” It is the fruit of a born again spirit.
According to the scripture above, happiness is an attitude of the mind. The apostle Paul said, “I think myself happy.” In other words, Paul was subjecting his mind or the way he thinks to be happy. Although Paul has the joy of the Lord in his heart, he still has to control his thinking or control his mind set. It has to be subjected to follow the behavior of his inner man, the human spirit.
It is Biblical to think ourselves happy. Paul did. He determined in his mind that he was happy. A believer must renew his thoughts and the way he thinks in accordance with the Word of God. As a result of Christ has done on the cross and the resurrection, a believer must understand that he has the mind of Christ. A believer must ever continue to learn and keep growing in the knowledge of Christ. There is no such thing as the pinnacle of maturity in Christ, because every believer is in the processes of the ever increasing faith. And the truth is God has revealed in His Word the many reasons a believer to be happy.
“And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us” (1 Corinthians 2:12 NLT).
The moment you are born in the spirit, God has given you His Spirit so you can learn and have the knowledge of the free things God has given you. Many of us have difficulty living by faith because of lack of knowledge, ignorance, and muddy understanding of the things Christ has accomplished on the cross and His resurrection.
The secret of a happy Christian is to enjoy everything that God has given us that are free, and enjoying our freedom in Christ. Sadly, countless Christians have been missing the secret of being the happiest person in the universe.
Happy Christians never beg from the Father God for the blessings that He had already provided. Only the ignorant and the very un-happy ones who would do such a thing – beg. Any required effort to gain salvation, healing, righteousness, blessings and grace is futile, because the work has already been accomplished by Christ. You don’t need to crucify Christ again for you to receive them. All you need to do is to take them with you. Accept the blessings and begin to thank and praise God for them.
It always amazes me every time I read the verse, “Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice.” That was Paul talking from a jail cell of the Roman Empire Correctional Facility. You see, instead of free men encouraging a locked up prisoner, it’s the other way around. In spite of being in dungeon or whatever, Paul has this exacerbating joy and happiness. Praise God!
There is not a single reason for a Christian to join the “Very Un-Happy Campers” or become a member of the “Pity Us Lonely Hearts Club Band.” In a church building, hall, facility, dome, arena, “house church,” or “house fellowship” whatever you call your gathering or meeting in the name of the Lord, the people in attendance there should be all “thinking happy.” We can think happy for ourselves and about ourselves just like Paul did.
The secret of happy living is the ability to accept what God has given us. Many of us know what the Bible says regarding our salvation and being saved, of being healed and being blessed and prosperous (spirit, soul, body). Sad to say, that majority of us know that only on paper, but never in understanding, and never in real life. It appears that Christianity is just a “virtual reality.” No wonder for them, becoming a Christian or a believer is a drag, a burden, a routine, a dry and boring life.
There is no life in religion or tradition. Both will kill your spirit eventually. Evidently, Christian belief system has become so rigid, too much formality, every step is numbered. In short, it is ceremonial. Many go to church/house to conduct the routine ceremony of Sundays or Saturdays or whatever day they chose to meet. It is all plain ceremonial. You won’t last if you belong to a religion or tradition. You’ll find yourself back to square one.
Christian life is a happy life. If you know the truth, then the truth shall set you free. It is only in the written Word of God that you will discover the truth, and the truth is Jesus – the Word of God. Paul was so happy because he knows his Bible. He knows the Word of God, not only in his mind, thoughts but in his spirit. Not only in his mind but he live the Word. The Word is his life.
The Word of God will only work for you if you begin to live by it. When you practice the word of God, follow and obey what it says, then life becomes a happy life. When the word says that you were healed, then you are. If the word says that you are more than conquerors in Christ, then you are. Live the word. You must see for yourself what Christ has done for you, and begin to act like one.
“Give all your worries and cares to God, for He care about you” (1 Peter 5:7 NLT).
Worry is the opposite of happiness. However, it is your decision to make either you want to be sucked up by worry or be happy. The best thing you could do is to give God all your worries and He will take care of the rest. Once you have given Him your worries then stop worrying about your worries.
“And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others” (2 Corinthians 9:18 NLT).
You see, God is your source. He will provide for you (more than enough) so you may be a blessing to others also.
The secret of being happy is having the knowledge of what Christ has done for us, and taking advantage of the benefits and privileges of our life in Christ. The issue is not our own effort or works to gain the blessings, but to accept what Christ has already given to us.
Too bad, most of our preaching/teachings that we have received were about the things that “we” should do, or “we” should have done, or “we” must do for Christ. Yes, good works for Christ. It is a message of doing good works for Christ. It is a message of self righteous acts. It is a message that is influenced by a delusional mind. It thinks that good works, good behavior, good attitude is the ground to receive the grace of God. The Bible declares that no one is good, only God.
The Bible said that for you have been saved through faith and not of yourselves. It is a gift of God, so that no man should boast. One thing God requires from you and that is to act on faith. It means to obey His Word. The key is your obedience to God’s Word.