By Jane Reed
Special to Inside The Pew
Editor’s note: The opinions expressed in this column are those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Inside The Pew or Pew Talk radio staff.
While attending church this past Sunday the Pastor mentioned something that has been on my mind this week. He mentioned the “happy factory” that is built inside all of us. It is a factory that is built by Christ. This factory runs full steam, even in times of struggle. This got me thinking of the struggles I have faced over the past twelve years. I have struggled with abuse, divorce due to the abuse, moving away from family and friends and starting over and the residual effects that came from the abuse. My daughters suffered greatly and as any mom would, I suffered with them. I then struggled with rejection by one of the beautiful children we were so blessed to have been able to adopt and the psychiatric issues he brought along for the ride. In the middle of that entire struggle, I was faced with medical issues and learning how to adjust into the new marriage God had given me. Struggle has been my “middle name” so to speak for a very long time. In the midst of it all, I was still happy. Why? Because my happy factory was still running!
I didn’t base my happiness on the circumstances of my life. My happiness was not based on a husband, children or a job. My happiness was base on my savior, Jesus Christ. When happiness is based on the one who never fails, happiness is always within us. Happiness based on earthly things and people will eventually let us down and cause the happiness inside us to shut down. Imagine where I would be right now if my happiness has been based on my children, my husband or my circumstances! Which brings me to the thought I have been having for the past few days: how do we keep that happy factory running, even in dire circumstance? I believe there are three ways to keep happy and fulfilled even when life is letting us down: pray, believe and receive.
- Pray. Praying is our direct link to God. Because Jesus died on the cross, we now have an open line of communication to our Heavenly Father. Prayer is the “electric line” of our happy factory. When we pray we open up the line for currents of “electricity” to flow. Pray over everything. Never cease. (1 Thessalonians 5:17) Keep those lines open. God hears you and He will respond.
- Believe. When we pray we have to believe that God is listening. We have to believe that He hears our cries and is standing with us in our struggles. We have to believe that Jesus died for us. This is different than just saying we believe, the belief has to be there! This belief is what gives us peace. (Romans 5:1, 2) This is the “electricity” that flows and keeps our happy factory lit up with God’s light!
- Receive. Everyone knows how electricity works. Currents run from point “a” to point “b”, but what if point “b” is capped off? The electricity stops in its tracks. We have to be willing to receive God’s word, receive God’s answers and be patient when the electric current is slower than we think it should be! God’s timing is perfect (Hebrews 4: 16). No matter the struggle, His timing is essential to the outcome.
Struggles are part of our lives here on earth. We cannot avoid them. We cannot run from them. At some point, and in most cases, many points in our lives, we will struggle. Our peace in those struggles comes from knowing Christ and letting Him keep our “happy factory” running. Notice I say “let Him” keep it running? We can cap off our point “b” and find ourselves in a very dark place. It is essential that we keep our lines open and our factory running!
I pray that whatever circumstance you are struggling with right now will not stop you from finding the joy that can only be found in Jesus Christ. I pray that your happiness is based solely on the One who never lets you down. I pray that your “happy factory” shines God’s light even in your darkest hours! Keep your lines open, believe in His word and receive His peace!
Jane Reed is the founder of Blessed Life Ministries (blessedlifeministries.com ) and the Editor-in-Chief of Blessed Life Magazine. Jane founded Blessed Life Ministries for the purpose of spreading the word of God so that others can feel the beauty and blessing of God in their lives. It is her prayer that this ministry will touch each person whom it comes in contact with, allowing God’s word to penetrate their souls, bringing them to a closer walk with Christ.