In 2008, 4,000 books were published on happiness which is significantly more than the 50 which were published in 2000. If people would read the Bible, they would find the key to true joy.
There was a fellow who was about to jump from a bridge. An alert police officer slowly and methodically moved toward him, talking with him all the time. When the officer got within inches of the man he said, “Surely nothing could be bad enough for you to take your life. Tell me about it. Talk to me.” The would-be jumper told how his wife had left him, how his business had gone bankrupt, and how his friends had deserted him. Everything in life had lost meaning. For thirty minutes he told the sad story—then they both jumped.
Billy Bray was a Cornish miner who accepted Jesus Christ as his Saviour in 1823 at the age of 29. He lived a life of drunkenness and debauchery before his salvation, but he became such an outgoing witness and testimony for God that he became known as “God’s glad man.”
One time he was digging potatoes from his garden and felt the devil oppressing him. It seemed to him that the devil said, “Billy Bray, God doesn’t love you. If He did, He wouldn’t give you such puny potatoes and so few.”
In a Charlie Brown Christmas Charlie Brown was having trouble getting into the Christmas spirit so Linus said, “Charlie Brown, you’re the only person I know who can take a wonderful season like Christmas and turn it into a problem.”
Unfortunately, some Christians seem to have the same problem as Charlie Brown when we should be lifting up our Lord and Saviour.
A Russian countess accepted the Lord Jesus as her Saviour and was open about her testimony. The Tsar was displeased and threw her into prison. After 24 hours with the lowest level of Russian society, in the most miserable conditions imaginable, he ordered her brought into his presence. He smiled sardonically and said, “Well, are you ready now to renounce your silly faith and come back to the pleasures of the court?”
Massena, one of Napoleon’s generals, suddenly appeared with eighteen thousand men before an Austrian town which had no means of defense. The town council had nearly decided to surrender when the old dean of the church reminded them that it was Easter and begged them to hold services as usual and to leave the trouble in God's hands. This they did; and the French hearing the church bells ringing joyfully concluded that an Austrian army had come to relieve the place and quickly broke camp. Before the bells ceased ringing, all the Frenchmen had vanished.
“There is a marvelous medicinal power in joy. Most medicines are distasteful; but this, which is the best of all medicines, is sweet to the taste, and comforting to the heart. This blessed joy is very contagious. One dolorous spirit brings a kind of plague into the house; one person who is wretched seems to stop all the birds from singing wherever he goes . . . [But] the grace of joy is contagious. Holy joy will oil the wheels of your life’s machinery. Holy joy will strengthen you for your daily labor.
Rick Chollet was a financially successful entrepreneur until March 18, 1991. He had even been the president of Brookstone Company, a small mail order business that he transformed into a national retail leader selling products for craftsmen. But on March 18 Mr. Chollet locked the garage door of his New Hampshire house, climbed into his BMW, and turned on the engine. He left behind a note that read, “Please forgive me, but the thought of going through the torture of living is just too much to bear.”
A young woman named Anne Steele had encountered one trial and disappointment after another. Her mother died when she was three, and when she was nineteen she suffered a severe hip injury that left her an invalid. Eventually she fell in love and was engaged to be married, but the day before the wedding her fiancé drowned.
Later Anne Steele penned the following song:
Not in unbelief, Voltaire was an infidel of the most pronounced type. He wrote: “I wish I had never been born.”
Not in pleasure, Lord Byron lived a life of pleasure if anyone did. He wrote: “The worm, the canker, and grief are mine alone.”
Not in money, Jay Gould, the American millionaire, had plenty of that. When dying, he said: “I suppose I am the most miserable man on earth.”
Not in position and fame, Lord Beaconsfield enjoyed more than his share of both. He wrote: “Youth is a mistake; manhood a struggle; old age a regret.”
“Researchers have found almost no correlation between income levels and happiness. Between 1957 and 1990 income levels in the U.S. doubled. Yet at the same period, people’s levels of happiness did not increase. In fact, reports of depression actually increased tenfold. Incidence of divorce, suicide, alcoholism and drug abuse also rose dramatically.”
Source: The Power of Full Engagement, Jim Loehr
The story is told about two wives who were doing their laundry in a laundry mat. They were both mending their husband’s pants.
One wife said, “My husband is so miserable. Nothing goes right at work, and he can’t find anything good on television. Our home is a place of despair. When we go to church, the song leader is terrible and the pastor is an idiot.
The other wife said “My husband is so excited.” He can’t wait to go to church. He loves the sermons. We laugh all the time and enjoy our family.
A mother gave her little girl a quarter and a dollar before church, “Put whichever one you want in the collection plate and keep the other for yourself,” she told the girl. When they were coming out of church, the mother asked her daughter which amount she had given. “Well,” said the little girl, “I was going to give the dollar, but just before the collection the man in the pulpit said that we should all be cheerful givers. I knew I’d be a lot more cheerful if I gave the quarter, so I did.”
Norman Cousins was hospitalized with a rare, crippling form of arthritis. When he was diagnosed as incurable, Cousins checked out of the hospital. Aware of the harmful effects that negative emotions can have on the body, Cousins reasoned the reverse was true. So he borrowed a movie projector and prescribed his own treatment, consisting of Marx Brothers films and old “Candid Camera” reruns. It didn’t take long for him to discover that 10 minutes of laughter provided two hours of pain free sleep. Amazingly, his debilitating disease was eventually reversed.
One morning R.C. Chapman, a devout Christian, was asked how he was feeling. “I'm burdened this morning!” was his reply. But his happy countenance contradicted his words.
So the questioner exclaimed in surprise, “Are you really burdened, Mr. Chapman?”
“Yes, but it's a wounderful burden--it's an overabundance of blessings for which I cannot find enought time or words to express my gratitude!”
In 1973, a horse named Secretariat became a legend in his time. Not only did Secretariat win the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, but he did it with an unprecedented performance. At the Belmont Stakes, he not only won the race by 31 lengths, but he set new records along the way as he went faster with each phase of the run. For one-and-one-half miles, that famous thoroughbred ran faster every second. Secretariat was accelerating at such an incredible pace that his trainer noted if the race had been extended another lap, his heart would have literally exploded.