I have a friend who seems incapable of being happy. I saw him this week, and it troubled me anew: He has finally achieved his dream job – and he’s miserable. He doesn’t respect the people he’s working for or with. He can’t communicate to his team what he wants, so he’s not happy with the work they produce. Therefore, he feels he has to do most of the work himself.
This would be distressing enough if he were simply a friend. But he is also a brother in Christ, a man who proclaims that he is dedicated to advancing the Kingdom of God. And yet most of what he shares with people about his work and his faith is framed in criticism and judgment. He emphasizes burden over beauty. I’ve asked him repeatedly over the years, “Where’s your joy in serving the Lord?” This week, I didn’t bother to ask. I just prayed for him.
Yes, dream jobs can fall short, relationships can fall apart, and life can go off the rails. But as the people of God, we cannot give evil a foothold in our lives by dwelling on our tragedies or brooding on our disappointments. And we certainly cannot reject the blessings of the Lord and find them insufficient. Any shortcoming is within us, and we must release it into God’s mercy and embrace the peace and happiness He offers through salvation. We are called to show the world the hope that comes from believing in God’s endless grace, the strength that we draw from His ceaseless power, and the joy that flows from being wondrously and completely loved.
When we show our joy in good times and in bad, when we are resolute in every circumstance, when we lift each other up with no thought of reward but only because it is right, we advance the Kingdom of God. We shine with His glory. We proclaim His good news to all who see us. What happier job can there be?
“And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”