God is pathway to lasting happiness

By Joan Clayton: PNT columnist

Go to any bookstore and you will find dozens of “how to” books on being happy. Enticements are everywhere. TV commercials are filled with “things” guaranteed to satisfy. You only need their products to make your life perfect.

For some, happiness is attained only when “this or that happens.” Yet, the bottom line says that after the possession of fortune or fame is achieved, reality comes into play and says, “Is this all there is?”

The Bible contains the path to lasting happiness. Life is difficult without kindness, unselfishness and most of all, love for others.

For many years I thought “hate” was the opposite of “love.” I have come to realize the opposite of “love” is “selfishness.” The one who is always thinking “What about me?” is bound for unhappiness.

Mark 8:34-37 reveals the secret of being happy:

“Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?’…” (NIV)

Material things satisfy for a season, but real joy comes from a loving God. Pursing happiness is vain without knowing the secret of life.

Blessing someone else brings happiness to the giver. Giving without expecting in return brings joy to the receiver. Without givers there would be no harmony, success or peace. Givers are “lights” in a cold dark world. Their gift of “Good News” brings hope for tomorrow that we desperately need to hear.

People who live one day at a time and are grateful to be alive find happiness. Real freedom concentrates on what one can do for others.

We all have something to give. Have you ever noticed when you smile at someone, they smile back? Have you ever received a card or a visit that cheered you up? Just a phone call can make a difference to a lonely person. Being interested in the lives of others builds many friendships.

Giving is a natural response of love. Jesus gave his life, and that is love unequaled. Since he gave once and for all the supreme sacrifice, surely I can give something in return to those around me.

Whether it is time, talent or other resources, everyone can give something to help a hurting soul. Giving what you have brings happiness to you and to others when you give with the spirit of generosity as the poor widow did in Mark 12:44.

I am so proud of Americans. They are always ready to help those in disasters, and many have given their all. I will say it again, “America, I love you. You are always unselfish in giving for others. God Bless America!”

Givers have the gift of “Good News.” The world is desperately waiting to hear it.

Wrap yourself in love and take the news and love of Jesus to a lost and dying world. It will bring joy to them and to you, too!

You can be a giver today. Go ahead. Try it. Before you know it, you will have discovered the secret of a happy life.