Do your circumstances hold all of the power to your happiness? I know I can say mine do, to some extent. I am sure we are all looking around us at the chaos we are living in and it changes our mood. Layer that on top of the stresses of everyday little old me life and that glass of water just became half empty. How do we not feel a little glum every day right now, am I right?
Maybe that is our problem. We are putting too much weight into what is going on in our lives and all around us and not enough into what is constant. Paul's life is fascinating to me. He is the perfect example of how Jesus has the power to transform us. Paul went from persecuting Jesus's followers to becoming one of the most influential people in spreading Jesus's good news. Spreading that good news was not an easy road. Paul suffered, was imprisoned, and killed for what and who he believed in. No danger, no fear, nothing would stop Paul, because he had experienced the transforming power that Jesus offers in our lives.
He wrote in Philippians 4:11-13 "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength."
If you are always looking at what you don't have, you will never be content with what you do. Maybe what you do have or are chasing after will always leave you wanting for more. Maybe it is not some thing that we should be chasing, rather someone. If Paul can be content even when he is writing these words from prison, maybe he does have the secret to happiness figured out. Maybe our perspective needs to shift from the idea that our surroundings are what makes us happy. They just can't. Maybe temporarily. But that car will break down, that friend will disappoint you, and that iPhone screen will crack. Just try having an upward perspective and see what happens. Faith may not mean instant gratification, but it does mean a deeper fulfillment that only Jesus can provide.