“Happy New Year!”— that’s what we will hear over and over again the next few days, and it is nice to receive such thoughtful expressions of concern for our welfare. But, the question that begs to be answered is this— What will it take for you to have a happy new year? With just a little thought we all could come up with a list. Many, however, will be miserable regardless of all the good things that God sends their way. One of the main reasons for this has to do with their attitude toward others.
Although God is the primary reason for our happiness, let’s not kid ourselves– we are greatly affected, for good or bad, by what others do or don’t do. For example, family and friends can bring us more happiness than all the money in Fort Knox, but they can also make us sad and mad when they fail to live up to our expectations. And it is a sad day when we allow others to determine whether or not we will be happy.
Although they could be, and should be, a great blessing, what are you going to do if they choose to do otherwise? Are you going to live your life depending on others to make you happy? That would be a big mistake. If you are a child of God you have reason to rejoice regardless of what others do or don’t do. You can’t afford to allow them to dictate whether you will be happy or not. That choice should be yours! If our relationship with God is such as it should be we will be happy even if—-
— no one comes to our aid in time of need.
— no one speaks an encouraging word when we are cast down.
— our best efforts are criticized.
— faultfinders point out our errors.
— others take advantage of our kindness.
— those we’ve helped show no appreciation.
— we are excluded from activities when others get together.
— others lie about us, cheat us, use us, etc.
The list could go on and on. Life on earth will never be perfect. We will be disappointed and discouraged about some things, but we must not allow those things to govern our lives. Because you are heart-broken about one thing doesn’t mean you should be sour about everything. Fix your focus on Christ and you will always find a reason to rejoice. Remember— “...whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he.“(Prov. 16:20). Think about it!