The Happy Christian
A few days ago, I joined a small Christian group with the hopes of having good companionship with a few fellow Believers. I have to be honest—it was one of the worst experiences I’ve ever had.
While I was not mistreated by the community, I was definitely discouraged by them. Have you ever walked out of church and felt worse than when you walked in? That’s kind of how I felt when I was with these people. We are children of God, reflecting the light of Christ. Joy should follow us everywhere we go, even when we are faced with hard times. That’s what I expected when I was with these Believers but it most certainly did not happen. I felt sad, depressed, and annoyed.
During my time with these people, there was one individual who complained endlessly about every problem in his life. I could tell he was going through a period of trials but I could also tell he wasn’t very well prepared with the Word to handle these trials. The entire time, he complained, whined, and moaned about his job, his fiancée, his new home, his income, his boss, his coworkers, the new job he wanted to get, old friends he used to hang out with—anything you mentioned, he had a complaint about it! Knowing he was in a rough place in his life, I tried to shift the conversation with some inspirational words but he found yet another way to turn it into negativity. He complained about the pastor whose words I quoted to him which turned into complaints about mega churches which became complaints about separation of church and state.
You couldn’t speak without him being negative but even worse, the other Believers there began to join in—telling him their problems like sharing something worse would make everything better. At one point, I wondered if I was in the right group. We were supposed to be Christians, we were supposed to bring peace, happiness, and confidence from Christ to every situation and to every person we meet. So, when a group of Believers gets together, no matter what they’re facing in life, it should be a joyous atmosphere … right?
Don’t get me wrong, we all face trials and tribulations and sometimes we can’t be as strong as we should be. Sometimes we just need a heart-to-heart. Sometimes we just need to vent. But you know who you’re supposed to vent to, have a heart-to-heart with, and complain to when you’re struggling?
JESUS. And ONLY Jesus.
You know why? Because when you whine and moan, you display a sense of a lack of faith. I’m not saying you shouldn’t discuss your issues with your pastor or prayer partners. I’m saying if you’re talking about your problems, you should be talking about them in a positive way. And you might wonder, I just lost my job, how am I supposed to speak positively about that?
Instead of whining about losing your job, how about you speak your faith over the situation and say you can’t wait to see God as your provider now.
Instead of moaning about breaking up with your significant other, how about you thank God for bringing you someone better in the future.
Instead of crying about your doctor’s report, praise God for the opportunity to know Him as your healer.
No matter what happens, it is your duty to believe God will make a way for you. The Bible doesn’t tell us to figure out why our problems happen to us, or wonder where was God in a situation. It tells us to trust in the Lord.
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5 KJV
The key phrase in this scripture is all thine heart. When you give all of your heart to God, that includes all of your worries. And again, I get it, sometimes the trials we face feel like they are going to break us. Sometimes we feel like we are losing our minds. And we might think, God understands my anger. God understands why I’m complaining. God understands why I need a drink tonight.
My response to that is: show me. Show me in the Bible where it says God understands why you think it’s ok to grab a glass wine because you’re “stressed”. Show me a scripture that says God understands why you cursed someone out because you were mad, or that He understands why you “lost your faith”.
You need to learn to recognize your trials as blessings; the Bible says rejoice during persecution! As odd as that sounds, you’re supposed to be happy when you’re in trouble because that’s an opportunity for God to show up in your life. Who wouldn’t want that? I’m not saying you should wish for hard times, I’m saying you shouldn’t cry and sulk when you are faced with them.
Matthew 5:11-12 KJV “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”
When you rejoice in your trials, you might not feel better right away but fake it til’ you make it! Sometimes your trials aren’t about you; sometimes God needs you to be pressed so that you can be an example of how to behave when you’re in trouble. Sometimes someone else learns how to be strong just from watching you.
When you learn to see the light of Christ in every part of your life, you learn to be a happy Christian no matter what. When you learn to be a happy Christian, you become a tool for God to use so that others can learn from you.