Several years ago in an interview during his battle with cancer, theologian Francis Schaeffer said, ‘The only way to be foolishly happy in this world is to be young enough, well enough, and have money enough,and not give a care about other people. But as soon as you don’t have any of the first three, or if you have compassion for the weeping world around you, then it is impossible to have the foolish kind of happiness that I believe some Christians present as Christianity.”
What is our greatest need in life? Is it to be happy? We may long for a change in our circumstances, and sometimes that’s what we get. But a changed life is our deepest need. Changed circumstances may make us happier, but a changed life will make us better, for it will make us like Christ.
What Schaeffer said is true regardless of the condition we’re in, not just for those who have cancer. God is working to make us holy, not happy. But, out of the first comes the second. We never find true happiness by looking for it. Happiness is the by-product of holiness, and that depends on our attitude toward Christ, not circumstances.