Some Christian folk have this thing where they don’t want anyone to see them unhappy. We’ve bought into the persona that we’re not supposed to have problems or issues. We walk around all day long telling folks, “I’m blessed!” as if everything in our worlds is peachy, when actually we really don’t feel all that great. Many of us have a sad smile on our faces, and we’re not as good at pretending as we think we are. Any person that is empathetic and compassionate can pick up when someone is hurting. So we’re not fooling nearly as many people as we think, and we need to stop trying to fool ourselves.
Psalm 37:4 (NKJV) tells us, “Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.” This is a beautiful verse that tells us to find comfort and delight in God’s beauty, bounty, and blessing. John 10:10 is probably on everyone’s favorite scripture list. In this verse, Jesus tells us that he came to the earth to make available a more than abundant life. Most of us would be satisfied if we hit the abundant mark, but God wants us to have a life that is more than abundant. That’s amazing! Another piece of yumminess is in Mark 9:23, where our blessed Lord tells us that if we can believe, all things are possible to the person who believes. This is over the top!
Considering the smorgasbord of blessings that God has provided, we can certainly see how the expectation of the always happy Christian came to be, but the truth is that many of us are not skipping through fields of daisies with blissful delight; not even close. For some, putting on a happy face and pretending is as close as they’ve come to the real thing, but it doesn’t have to be that way. One truth that shouldn’t be lost on any of us is that it’s important to God for us to know His desire. We may not be as happy as all get out, but He wants us to be confident that it’s certainly His Will and desire that we get there.
The feeling of happiness is something that we associate with conditions and circumstances. If everything in our world is going good, we tend to be happy, but when things turn sour, many of us will begin to think sour thoughts and express sour feelings. God’s Will is that nothing controls us to the degree that we lose sight of who we are and why we’re here. In Colossians 2:7, Heavenly Father tells us that His plan is that our roots are firmly planted in Christ, so that we are not tossed about by all the distractions the devil throws our way. He tells us, “Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.”
God wants us to be anchored in Jesus Christ, so that we are living in the Spirit of who he is. Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God. He’s the Word made flesh, and his love is so extraordinary because he took on all our sin and gave his life for us. He said in John 15:13 (NLT), “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” If our gratitude and understanding of what Christ has done for us through his love is on a surface level, our roots are not yet as deep as they should and can be. We need to be filled with something that only God in Christ can supply.
If we have even a hint of an inkling that our smiles are sad, we can pray and ask God to fill us with joy on the inside. Only the Lord can give us a smile that is real and filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 tells us that our prayer should be that God, the Source of hope, will fill us utterly and completely with a joy and peace that the world can’t give and the world can’t take away. All we need to do is trust in God’s love. When we trust Him, we’ll overflow with hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
In Ephesians 3:14-19 The Message (MSG), the Apostle Paul gives us the perfect blueprint for how to respond to God’s goodness and turn our sad smiles into joyful ones. He said, “My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.”■
Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
“A Sad Smile” written for Overcomingdomesticviolenceorg.wordpress.com. Copyright ©2020. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!