People everywhere want to get along in life as blithely as possible. They put on a cheery face at work, pleasing customers or clients as best they can. At least, they smile and hope to win confidence by projecting a sense of contentment to those whom they serve. Happiness is what buyers seek. Jovial jokes or witty repartee will make the sale, sign the contract, or expand the company’s horizon. Nobody wants to buy from a glum clerk or a morose sales rep. Show some gladness, even if you don’t mean it! So runs the advice of a few business gurus.
I’ve met a few Christians who’ve taken this advice to heart when practicing their life in Jesus Christ. You sense the image of delight and an impression of bliss added like a veneer to their personalities, but where’s the peace that passes understanding?
“Rejoice in the Lord always,” the apostle Paul wrote. “I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:4-7, NIV).
The foundation of a believer’s joy is God’s peace. Knowing Jesus, you know the Father, and divine serenity filters into your heart and mind. An inner silence develops over the time of your increasing acquaintance with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In the silence, you can hear the Lord’s voice, and it teaches you how wonderfully your life is directed. As peace envelopes you, contentment, pleasure, happiness and exultation become the stones at the bottom of your character. From a solid foundation in God’s peace, your joy exudes and overflows.
Warren W. Wiersbe said, “God balances our lives by giving us enough blessings to keep us happy and enough burdens to keep us humble.”
Troubles come to everyone who lives in a broken world such as this one, but Christ’s followers have no good reason to allow anxiety to overwhelm them. They have the tool of prayer, which gives them direct contact with the divine world. God hears, and he answers. You can be thankful even before the Lord’s answer arrives, because you’ve learned to rest peacefully in his Son. Make your request known to heaven, and let your heart be light! After you pray seriously about a problem or a decision you must face, relax. Be at peace, and allow the happiness of the redeemed flood into you.
This is more than developing a good attitude or a positive outlook on life. Your peace and cheeriness that radiate from trusting Jesus with everything important sit on the rock of relationship with a living God, who cares enough about you to guide and direct your steps in an uncertain world. You’re fortunate in ways beyond the lucky happenstance that occurs for someone who doesn’t know Jesus personally because you maintain a close connection with the blessings of heaven through your prayer and gratitude to God.