Happiness is where God is

By Joan Clayton: PNT Religion Columnist

“Honey, someone can have everything in the world, but without God, they are miserable. Take me; the Lord has blessed me so much. I have a wonderful place to stay, good food to eat and people to take care of me. Yes, Jesus is in my heart. That’s why I’m so happy.”
At 93, this beautiful rest home resident made my heart sing. She is everyone’s favorite. Her cheerful demeanor and positive outlook encourages those around her.
My friend’s attitude reminds me of the apostle Paul’s statement in Philippians 4:11:
“…Not that I speak in respect of want:  for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” In verse 13, Paul also shares the secret my friend shared with me:  “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
The happiest people I know are the ones who lose themselves by thinking of others. They take great joy in simple pleasures.
Happiness accompanies gratitude. Grateful people think of the many wondrous things to be thankful for. Chief among them is their health. Money certainly cannot buy that. Some may think money can buy happiness, but the end result often leads to misery.
s my dear friend told me, “Being poor financially is not being poor, for where God is, riches abound. Those who have stored riches in heaven are the real millionaires. Honey, go home and read Matthew 6:21.” 
I did just that: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
This Scripture encourages me. I want my heavenly bank account fat and full.
My dear friend is not looking back to the good old days or even hard times. She takes life one day at a time and savors it. Nor does she live in the past.
Psychologists agree that one of the main hindrances to victorious living is that of looking back. Past hurts, guilt and remorse lead to despair. Dwelling on the past impedes moving forward, stifles growth and promotes illness. I learned the following tips on being happy from the wisest person I know who has experienced 93 years of life:
“Live one day at a time. Savor it. Relish it.
Be grateful for being alive, to be able to walk, to see, to hear, to be the best you can be.
Appreciate everyday things … blue skies, puffy clouds, smiles, rainbows, sunsets.
Look into the eyes of a loved one and say, ‘I love you.’
‘Hug life’ with a giant-sized bear hug. Life is all around you, just waiting to be hugged.
Today is God’s gift just for you. Open it with gladness because there is a happy day inside.”
What an extraordinary lady!
You can be joyful too. You are rich …r ich in family, rich in friends, rich in all spiritual blessings. That makes you a millionaire.
Praise God for his unspeakable gift, the gift of his Son. That he would die for us is more than we can understand. God’s child is redeemed from the curse of the law. He has given every good and perfect gift. He joys over you with singing. He watches over you with loving care. He encourages, heals, comforts, and loves.
His love sustains in the storm, and is like a well-watered garden. When you are weak, then you become strong because of his strength. You are far from oppression and fear does not come near you for you are sheltered in the arms of love. That dear friend is happiness.
When Kallie, our youngest granddaughter at age 7 tried to hug herself one day I asked what she was doing.
“I’m hugging Jesus. He’s in there you know. He’s in my heart. That’s why I’m happy!”
Kallie, age 7, and my friend, age 93, have a lot in common.
Happiness is where God is!