Rising Out of Brokenness: What does happiness look like?

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12 ESV)
 
Pastor Patrick Coats
 
Every one of us wakes up in the morning and pursues happiness. In fact, everything that we do in our day is in line with this pursuit. Happiness can be defined as that moment when things begin to go our way or when an overwhelming burden is finally lifted and deliverance is in sight. Often times we chase happiness because we think those little moments will be enough to sustain us over time but, what if God is saying that happiness may look entirely different from the way that we imagined it? What if the answer to our most challenging moments in life is simply to trust and have unwavering faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? As we live, we always run into roadblocks, obstacles, and setbacks that are designed to set us up for what lies ahead. In this scripture, James is telling us that the happy person is the one who is able to remain steadfast under those trials. The path to happiness is in one's ability to trust God and push through the pain. Happiness means to face the mountains of life with an extraordinary faith because the mountain for a Christian is not an obstacle. As Christians, we know that if it looks like a mountain then we are on the cusp of a blessing and happiness because at the moment that we confront our mountain, if we are able to just trust in God and push our way through then we can see our way to the other side. Anything is possible with God, but we miss this fact when we take more pleasure in the happiness than our loving God who is able to give us that and has promised much more to those who love Him. We all have our ideas of what happiness looks like, but true happiness comes from knowing that we have a life that pleases God.  "And calling the crowd to Him with His disciples, He said to them, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it." (Mark 8:34-35 ESV)