How to Live a Happy Life

One day, when reading a magazine, I came across an illustration which provoked my thought.

Women in business

Source: Stephan Schmitz

This is a work of Stephan Schmitz, a celebrated Swiss illustrator. In this picture, there is an office lady who wears a yellow suit and black trousers, with a briefcase in her left hand and a cellphone in her right, and carries a thick binder under her arm. Seems that she is busy with work. Beside her is a stay-at-home mother in a red dress who pushes a pram with a doll in one hand and a napkin in the other. Passing the mother, the office lady looks over her shoulder at the mother with admiration. “I wish I could live an easy life as she,” she thought. “No suit, no business affairs, no boss’s nagging, no scheme against colleagues, but just me and my cute baby.” Meanwhile, the mother is also attracted by the temperament and confidence of the office lady. “How I wish I were her! In that case, I could have my own career, associate with successful businessmen, and enjoy others’ esteem. Look at me. My whole life is revolving around the baby, and I don’t even have my own space.” The moment their eyes meet, the office lady forgets that she has a client on the phone, and the mother is distracted from her baby. They, while envying each other, both forget the happiness they already have.

This illustration was a reminder to me of my own experience: When I was little, I often admired my peers’ family and appearance because I thought mine were not good enough. After marriage, I admired the marriage, occupation, and income of others, unsatisfied with what I possessed. I often complained to my husband, “I wish I hadn’t gotten married to you. You are so shiftless that only could own a small business. Look at my classmate’s husband. He is not only kind and thoughtful to my classmate, but also makes big money. You should work hard to make us live a better life.” Fed up with my complaints, my husband finally retorted, “I am the one who should feel regretful. There are many women who are both beautiful and capable. You, however, are just a housewife.” Hearing my husband, I was very defiant in my heart but couldn’t find a single word to retort. Unable to restrain myself from making complaints, I began to read articles like Chicken Soup For the Soul to comfort myself, but I still couldn’t get rid of the pain in the depths of my heart.

God’s Word Is Light and Removed My Dissatisfaction

Thanks to God’s salvation, I had the honor to come before Him and accept His work. Through reading God’s word, I found the source of my dissatisfaction with my family and appearance and finally obtained happiness.

God’s word says: “Because people do not recognize God’s orchestrations and God’s sovereignty, they always face fate defiantly, with a rebellious attitude, and always want to cast off God’s authority and sovereignty and the things fate has in store, hoping in vain to change their current circumstances and alter their fate. But they can never succeed; they are thwarted at every turn. This struggle, which takes place deep in one’s soul, is painful; the pain is unforgettable; and all the while one is frittering away one’s life. What is the cause of this pain? Is it because of God’s sovereignty, or because a person was born unlucky? Obviously neither is true. At bottom, it is because of the paths people take, the ways people choose to live their lives” (“God Himself, the Unique III”). God’s word pointed out the source of my suffering: I didn’t know God’s sovereignty, nor did I know that my family, occupation, and the environment in which I live were not up to me but predestined by God. In fact, the roles we play in the world and the environment in which we live are arranged properly for us by God. However, I wasn’t satisfied with my life and always envied what others had, desiring to lead a life with money, position, and enjoyment like other people. When I couldn’t achieve my desire, I felt frustrated and even had a heart of hatred. Bound by this thought deep within my soul, I couldn’t live happily. Now I realize that it is because I didn’t know what I should pursue and didn’t have the proper goal for my life that I was full of grumbles; motivated by my vanity, I was never content with my present circumstances and only wanted to make a lot of money to live a better life and obtain the high regard of others. As a result, I lived in suffering.

The Right Choice Brought Me a Happy Life

Having realized these, I appreciated that it wasn’t difficult to obtain happiness. As long as we come before the Creator, all of our problems and difficulties will be resolved. As God’s word says: “There is a simplest way to free oneself from this state: to bid farewell to one’s former way of living, to say goodbye to one’s previous goals in life, to summarize and analyze one’s previous lifestyle, philosophy, pursuits, desires, and ideals, and then to compare them with God’s will and demands for man, and see whether any of them is consistent with God’s will and demands, whether any of them delivers the right values of life, leads one to a greater understanding of the truth, and allows one to live with humanity and human likeness. … let God take charge of your life and make arrangements for you, try only to submit to God’s orchestrations and guidance, to have no choice, and to become a person who worships God” (“God Himself, the Unique III”). Like a beacon, God’s words pointed out the path I should take. When I was willing to let go of my demands and desires, act and conduct myself according to God’s requirements, and obey His sovereignty and arrangements, I found that God had granted me so much. Though I didn’t have a good job, my husband could make money to make my family lead a good life; besides, God gave me a child who is obedient and sensible and I seldom needed to worry about his study. The most fortunate thing is that I had the opportunity to follow God, which was really the grace and exaltation of God. All told, I have enjoyed so much God’s grace and happiness.

After so many years, I truly appreciated: All I pursued in the past is negative things and the shackle Satan used to bind me and harm me. Now, under the guidance of God’s words, I changed my goal of life and the direction of pursuit, living easily and freely with an open heart. I finally understand that only when we live by truth, can we live freely and obtain happiness.

If this article was helpful to you, you may also be interested in reading more on our Testimonies page about Faith and Life, or in the selected articles below:

»     Demotion - No longer Pursue Fame, Gain and Status, Throw Off the Invisible Shackles

»     Can Money Buy Happiness? - Is being rich and living in great luxury really a happy life? No! The true happiness comes from God.

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