Have you ever made a purchase at the store and realized later that you were overcharged by several dollars? The happiness of the shopping excursion was soon replaced with frustration. Just as Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of soup, we often sell our happiness for a few dollars!
Someone once said, “It is amazing how often we cheaply surrender that which is most valuable.” We let trivial circumstances affect our moods. We can be “floating in the clouds” one minute and “down in the dumps” the next. Oftentimes, this is because we have an unrealistic view of happiness.
Happiness is a state or emotion that is based on circumstances and experiences; it is a condition or a feeling. A biblical term for happiness is joy. Joy is the expression of gladness that stems from a source or cause of delight. The Bible says in Psalm 28:7, “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.” Joy is a decision that we make on a daily basis and is experienced when we remain rooted in the unchanging and unwavering love of Jesus Christ.
We need to take pleasure in every minute of life, not just when things are exciting or everything is going our way. God wants us to draw joy from every circumstance whether good or bad. Philippians 4:4 states, “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.” The next time the cashier overcharges you, remember that your joy is more valuable than a few meager dollars! When trials come, recall that we are “strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness” (Colossians 1:11).