Happiness, Contentment & Joy
These conditions are a rare threesome, and we all need them in order to enjoy a truly fulfilling life . . .
Physically, we must have, food, shelter and the companionship of others.
Emotionally, we need to love—and to be loved by others.
Spiritually, we need relationship with God and with others.
“No man” (or woman) “is an island.” John Donne penned about 400 years ago. We need others in our lives.
For much of my life I was a bit of an island—lonely. Yes, I had pals all through my teens and early 20s, but no relationships of depth; deep down I desperately wanted that ‘someone.’ I was a marriage waiting to happen—but for motives I didn’t understand, some of those motives were wrong. I admired and respected girls, dated some, but until I met Donna, there was little spark. Then suddenly, it was love (I was sure), at first sight.
But first sight became long-term vision! The holdup initially, was Donna’s age at the time—just 15 when we met—and then it was Donna’s Dad, who made it clear to me that I needed a higher education in order to have a chance with his daughter. It took seven long years, while Donna trained as a Registered Nurse, I went to university then joined the Air Force. We were many miles apart, occasionally seeing each other, but mostly corresponding by letter mail—infrequently and unsatisfactorily.
My long term vision had become dimmer and dimmer until finally it faded out. I was unhappy, discontent, joyless, jobless and in despair. I gave up on Donna. Then after six months of unemployment, I got a job in another city and things started to go better. Out of the blue, I received a letter from Donna in which in essence she said, “Let’s relight the fire!” My vision suddenly brightened, so I went straight out and bought an engagement ring (on credit!), and we were soon engaged, then married a year later. I wish I had kept that letter!
As I look back, a large part of my sorry condition had been due to my lack of a proper relationship with God, and now that the emotional part of my life was fixed, all would be well. Life moved on. Happily married and with four young children and a good job, we lived a ‘normal’ Christian life, until first Donna, then I, surrendered all to God. That came a year before we moved out into missions, at which time we really started to live; and along the way we discovered that living also involved dying—dying to many of the things we thought important.
Happiness in the bible, was really more about being blessed. Today the word ‘happy’ has become more of a passing greeting—a ‘feel good’ kind of thing. Happy Birthday! Happy Anniversary! (but just for today!) It’s not a bad word, but wouldn’t you rather be blessed on your birthday and in all of your life? I would.
Contentment has great staying power. Paul wrote,
“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” [Phil 4:11]
And, “. . . godliness with contentment is great gain.” [1 Tim 6:6]
Finally from Hebrews, the writer pens,
“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” [Heb 13:5]
Joy is more than being happy, perhaps even more than being content. It is a constant and lasting condition of the soul. Jesus spoke about us being living branches of Him, the vine; abiding in His love, bearing much fruit and even being pruned. Ouch! And then He adds, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” [John 15:11]
So, we have these three, happiness, contentment and joy. And you and I can’t flourish in them without right relationships—as far as possible—with all.
Do you think perhaps, that the greatest of these is joy?
Quotes from Loren Cunningham
Hearing God is not all that difficult. If we know the Lord, we have already heard His voice—after all it was the inner leading that brought us to Him in the first place. But we can hear His voice and still miss His best if we don’t keep on listening. After the ‘what’ of guidance comes the ‘when’ and ‘how’.
You’re either a missionary or a mission field.
We can never work alone to bring great multiplication. It has to happen through unity & diversity.
Dear YWAM Associates Family,
You are invited to the YWAM Together Gathering in Thailand Sept 2-8, 2018.
It will be a time of fellowship, worship and encouragement together with those who are now in YWAM fulltime.
If you can’t come, please pray. We want to be focused on His presence and unity. I am believing to be there and look forward to seeing you.
Love and Blessings,
This past Good Friday, I went to a city gathering of the Evangelical churches here in our home town of Medicine Hat, Canada. The arena was packed and overflowing. The pastor who spoke, ended his message with this exhortation, “Let’s break down the walls between the denominations and become one church, honoring the local fellowships. Let’s lay down our agendas, it’s time to not carry any offense. Jesus wants us to be one church.”
A week ago I was in Korea with almost 3000 people from 30 nations in an international gathering for three days and nights. What was the purpose? Seeing unity come, with the Holy Spirit as the facilitator; and to declare that we want to see God’s Kingdom come, and His will being done on earth, as it is in heaven.
As we started, all ages danced and worshipped together with such joy, giving thanks to God.
The leaders of different nations met together before each session started, waiting on God to hear what was on His heart.
The Chinese from Taiwan, mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau. Singapore, and North America have been walking together, and they proclaimed, “We are ‘One China’; we stand together in UNITY.”
After much listening to each other and us listening to the pain of some North Koreans, North and South Koreans together declared, “We will be one!”
Then the Germans, who had brought a piece of the Berlin wall said, “God allowed the wall to come down in Berlin, and it can happen here between North and South Korea, and we stand with you.” Chinese and Japanese stood with the Koreans as well as the other nations represented. It was amazing and the presence of God was so evident—I believe He was pleased with our declarations and commitment.
Why am I telling you this? I believe there’s a remnant from the nations who have a heart after God and who want to see Jesus’ last prayer answered—the one just before He went to the cross—that we will be ONE, that we as His people will have UNITY and become ‘family.’ We are His sons and daughters and He is our Father, the King of Kings.
You may not have been at this gathering but you are still one in the Spirit with those who were there in person.
We lay down all our agendas, our offenses, our competing and comparing, and we say, “God, what is on Your heart?“ And we listen to Him.
At the foot of the cross in true humility and love, there is such a unity.
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” [John 17:20-23]
Love and Blessings,
Camps in Europe this Summer
July 8-14 – YWAM Restenäs, Sweden
Speaker Carolyn Ros “Becoming deeply rooted in God”
Click here for more information
July 15-21 – Sighisoara, Romania
Speaker to be announced
July 29-Aug 4 – YWAM Champagne, France
Speaker Richard Jones “The Way to the Father”
Click here for more information
Click here for updates on all Camps!
Busy as a Bee
We in the Western world tend to think of ‘being busy,’ as a highly desirable quality. We speak of someone as being ‘as busy as a bee,’ buzzing as if from flower to flower, single-minded and totally focused; and we admire them. It shows that a person is not wasting time, is active and engaged; no moss growing there!
In the Chinese (and Japanese) script, the meaning of ‘busy’ is quite different; this is what the word looks like:
The meaning? Heart dead.
That puts a different spin on the word. Essentially, if you’re busy, it suggests that you have no time for anybody or anything else, and what you’re really saying is, “Stay out of my space, I’m fully occupied and I have no time for you.” You’re shutting them out.
Nowadays, when someone asks one of us, “Are you busy?” Donna and I have learned to respond, “No, not busy, but we keep active. What’s up?”
We should always, at the very least, try to make time for others, to hear their hearts.
Till next time,
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