In Matthew 9 there was a woman who had been unwell for twelve years and spent all her money on doctors who were unable to help her. She had heard about the miracles Jesus had done and believed that he could heal her. All she did was to touch his clothes and she was healed. Jesus told her, Be happy, dear woman. You are made well because you believed (Matthew 9:22). I have no doubt that Jesus still heals people miraculously today, but sometimes, he doesn't. We will all be healed and all our problems resolved when we are in heaven with him. We can be happy about that.
I love this parable about the kingdom of heaven being like a hidden treasure. It was quite common in Bible times to hide your treasure by burying it in a time of war or conflict. The message is that knowing Jesus is worth far more than the combined value of anything you own. As a teenager you may not own much, but imagine if your parents found some buried treasure in a field so they sold their house, cars, jewellery, big screen TV, and other valuables so that they could buy it.
Matthew 5:11-12 says, People will insult you and hurt you. They will lie and say all kinds of evil things about you because you follow me. But when they do that, know that great blessings belong to you. Be happy about it. Be very glad because you have a great reward waiting for you in heaven.
This doesn't make sense to our human brains - how can you be happy about something bad? Romans 8:18 says, We have sufferings now, but these are nothing compared to the great glory that will be given to us.
We can be happy when we are persecuted for following Jesus because we have a reward waiting for us in heaven that far outweighs our suffering here on earth. It's not fun at the time, but it won't last forever.
We're going to look at happiness from a Biblical viewpoint, starting at Matthew. I'm using the Easy to Read Version but will look at other translations as well.
Matthew 2:10 is talking about the wise men when it says, They were very happy and excited to see the star. The New King James Version says that they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. The Wise Men were probably astronomers who were familiar with the prophecy that the appearance of this star signified the birth of the King of Kings. When it stopped over the place where Jesus lay they were very happy because they had found the Saviour. If you have found Jesus you can be happy because you know the Saviour of the world who has forgiven your sins.
The world tells us that fame, wealth, love, friends, likes and stuff makes you happy. But the kind of happiness that the Bible talks about is different. Romans 12:12 says, Be happy because of the hope you have. We can be happy because:
But we truly find happiness when we do God's work. When we love and accept others like he does, when we forgive people who hurt us, when we help people who are in need, when we encourage people who are down...
The Bible Gateway has an interview with Max Lucado on the topic of happiness (which also happens to be the subject of his new book, How Happiness Happens. In it, he said, The words of Jesus are spot-on: “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). Because when you do, it has a boomerang effect. Happiness happens when we give it away.
So, how do you give happiness away? I hear you ask.
You spend time with your little brother or sister, even they annoy you.
You help your Mum with the dishes - before you are asked.
You sit with the girl at school who usually sits alone.
You invite that unpopular girl to your party.
You smile at the homeless man and say hello.
You donate your pocket money to charity.
You buy a gift for a child in need.
You help you elderly neighbour tidy her yard.
You share your lunch with the boy who forgot his.
You listen to your grandparents' stories, even though you've heard them before.
You help your dad mow the lawn.
Do you get the idea? Who are you going to give happiness to today and how are you going to do it?
Short and sweet inspirations for Christian teen girls.