The prime minister of the United Arab Emirates has announced the creation of a minister of state for happiness, as part of a major government shake-up.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is also the ruler of Dubai, said the minister would drive policy "to create social good and satisfaction". A new post of minister of state for tolerance was also created.
When I was young I heard a man explaining the difference between happiness and joy; not that I was aware that there was a difference. Happiness he said was a response to the good 'happenings' in your life whereas joy was a deeper thing that did not depend on your circumstances being good.
What about you? Is it only when the 'happenings' in your life are good that you are happy or do you have joy no matter the circumstances. Now do not get me wrong we are not saying that we should be on a high all the time, or running about constantly laughing but I have met folks who had an inner peace, a contentment, a joy even when times were tough. The Bible says 'godliness with contentment is great gain', 1 Timothy 6.6.
There is an old prophet in the Bible, Habakuk, and as he faced the downfall and distress of his people, Israel, he said these words 'athough the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; and the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD is my strength'. What a viewpoint! Everything goes bust, your world falls apart - yet you have something that outlasts it all - salvation. Have you got it? The word of God says you can - 'through faith in Christ Jesus'.
Can we really ever experience happines?
When it is cold - we complain that the weather is terrible and wonder why we do not live in a hotter climate.
When it is hot - we wonder why we ever moaned and often find that the heat is more than we can cope with.
The problem is one of contentment. It is great when you meet someone who is truly content and happy. Funnily enough contented people are often the ones who do not have a lot of this world's goods. They have found peace in spite of what they have, not because of what they have.
How about you and me; are we content? When the Lord Jesus Christ was on this planet he was content. He knew that he was facing certain death, in fact, he knew before he left heaven for earth, that he would be crucified, but he talked about his 'joy' being in his disciples (John 15:11) and his wish was for his disciples 'joy' to be full.
The Lord Jesus came into the world 'that we might have life' and the Bible expressly states that Jesus did not come to 'condemn the world' but 'that the world through him might be saved'.
Can I ask you a question? Do you know this type of contentment and joy? If not; you can do. For the Bible states that 'whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved'.
Why not bow you head and speak to God about it now!
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