The American Dream. Big house. Nice cars. Bank full of money. Properity. Success. Is it worth living for? One man once said…
"Life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement" regardless of social class or circumstances of birth." --James Truslow Adams in 1931
Many aspire and dream and work towards achieving the American dream their entire life. But is it really better? Are people who have more actually happier than the average Joe?
Repeated studies reveal more money is not mo better. In fact, many times the reverse is true. Rich people often wind up with god-complexes or wondering, “Is there anything more?”Many are married to their work, leaving close relationships behind. They are willing to sacrifice relationships for the feeling of accomplishment and success. It can often be difficult to see your identity tied up in your pocket book.
What is the secret to true happiness?
Happiness is not tied to identity.
Or bank accounts.
Or family trees.
True happiness is only found in the Lord. It is a happy feeling produced by the Holy Spirit from experiencing Christ-centered joy. A joy that is steadfast in God’s Word regardless of outer circumstances.
Last week I witnessed such joy from a group of women in Haiti. For the most part, they live in wretched conditions. If you could transplant them to U.S. soil, they would be considered extremely poor. They live without running water and electricity. They may not even know when they will eat again. But the sound of their voices resonated deep within my soul. Regardless of where they live…they have joy. Regardless of their circumstances…their faith is strong.
I witnessed faith in the Lord.
I felt convicted because I realized how much faith I put in the things that I have. I do not wait on the Lord because my pantry is bursting forth. I do not cry out for help because I have erected a god-complex from within. I often complain when I sit in traffic or feel sorta bad. Whew. But these ladies epitomized Philippians 3:1,
“Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord.”
Do you? Do you rejoice regardless of feelings, circumstances, health and wealth? If so, how do you get there?