Yesterday we looked briefly at the Prodigal Son from Luke 15. He learned some tough lessons the hard way! After a life of luxury with his dad, he demanded his part of the inheritance (even though his father was still alive!) and went out in search of "happiness."
What he learned was that sorrow, disillusionment and disappointment usually follow decisions and changes we make that are based on emotion and those changeable feelings of ours. We cannot rely on or trust our feelings to guide our lives.
So, if we cannot rely on feelings, or follow our hearts, then what are we to find genuine happiness?
Our feelings, though given to us by God were never intended to be the basis of our decisions and the changes we make in our lives. Our feelings are tricky and sneaky because in case you haven't noticed, they change by the hour or even by the minute.
Our feelings (like everything else) are to be under the control of the Holy Spirit and are not to rule over us. We are to submit our powerful feelings and emotions to authority of the Word of God.
Happiness is characterized by joy, inner contentment and peace, and confidence in a loving God. This is a gift from God and cannot be conjured up through circumstances and buying power. This is something many people are discovering in our current economy. "Stuff" does not buy happiness! Being happy does not come from circumstances, you can be happy in spite of them. I find I am "happy" when I am making right, God honoring choices and decisions.
As you determine to glorify God in your life you will be supernaturally transformed. You will discover happiness in Christ and Christ alone and I promise you- you will have inner peace, and quiet contentment in spite of your circumstances.
A part of making this decision, is to grant God access to those areas of "you" that are currently off limits to God and His Word. These are the places you keep your secret sins and the untouchable ones. The greatest and strongest idols of your heart that you really don't want God or anyone else messing with.
These too must be yielded to God as a part of turning over all of your heart, soul, mind, and body to Him. Romans 12:1-2 says
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
This is a part of growing wisdom in your heart and life.