I never found lasting happiness by looking for it. Looking for happiness can be like a dog chasing it's tail.
"Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." - Matthew 6:31-33 ESV
This passage isn't even talking about what we want. It is talking about what we need. I read this and it challenges me. It is just the kind of challenge I need. It's so easy to look at things and say, 'This makes me happy and this doesn't.' or 'That isn't going to make me happy so I won't go there. I've tried something like that before.'
"You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants of men. So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God. So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God." - 1 Corinthians 7:23-24 ESV
"But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body." - 1 Corinthians 6:17-20 ESV
What do you see in a well run restaurant or business. Happy people (for the most part anyway). When things are run well people have provisions and they are satisfied. There are connections and there is profit that is distributed in a proper way. A business that only makes money for a couple of people and grinds everyone else up isn't a good business. A business that keeps people for twenty or thirty years and puts children through college and pictures in your picture album.
God runs a good operation. The best operation. The only one of it's kind. The original one.
I am going to seek that operation first today. Then I can be a productive person in the spiritual sense.
Am I happy all the time? No. Could I be if I tried? It is vain pursuit if I am the one making it happen.
God keeps gifting me me with things, people and adventures that I would never have any other way.
Maybe you have made decisions that seem to have resulted in unhappiness. The natural thing to do is change what you can to be happier but it is a trap to live that way. We don't belong to ourselves. We own our decisions but we don't own ourselves. Self ownership soon becomes slavery.
God knows what we want and what we need. Let's seek the kingdom first.
We went out on evangelism on Saturday and it was so much fun. We met up and the Bible was opened as we sat on a wall in an open breezeway. We prayed some quick but powerful prayers then the men rode their motorcycles to the harbor we joked around and talked to people about Jesus. Afterwards we went and had burgers and sat in the sun drinking coffee.
I was out from 9:30am to 3:30pm and the time was so golden. Not a moment dragged. There is record of it in Heaven.
"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?" - Romans 8:28-31 ESV
"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." - Matthew 6:19-21 ESV
We can keep spending our paycheck on the lottery of happiness where the only one who truly gets rich is the ones selling the tickets or we can leave that economy behind and realize that the God who sent His Son to die for us wants to give to us.
It won't be sentimental. His giving is purposeful like everything else He does.
We may not like the timing of it because it many time lacks the right now quality that we have become accustomed to but what we end up with is lasting.
If we live this way we have joy and joy is so much more then anything that circumstances could ever produce.