As Happy As You Want to Be
Have you ever wondered, “Will I ever be happy?” John 15:11 says, “These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” We’ve got His joy on the inside of us. It’s not dependent on anything on the outside, it belongs to us. It’s ours!
The Lord showed me this example of a set of keys. We have keys that represent our car, our house, our job. We wouldn’t just toss these keys to just anyone. We keep our keys with us, they are important to us. The Lord says to look at your happiness like that. Just as you wouldn’t toss your keys to just anyone, don’t toss your happiness keys to just anyone that is trying to steal your joy. You may be at work on Monday morning, and someone says something that they shouldn’t have to you. They upset you, and you feel like just tossing your keys right over at them. But the Lord wants us to make the decision, “No, that’s MY joy. It comes from the inside. It’s not determined by anything on the outside. The joy of the Lord is my strength!”
One time when I was growing up, we were riding in a mini van and I was in the backseat pouting about something. My mother just turned around, looked at me and said, “Amy, you’re as happy as you want to be.” Well that phrase really stuck in my heart! It’s carried me through some situations in life when everything was a mess or I was just in a funk. I reminded myself, “I’m as happy as I want to be.” I realized that joy is an inside job. Jesus gave me His joy and I can decide to be as happy as I want to at any time.
Recently my daughter Summer got a new toy. We had spent a lot of money on this toy, $60 for an egg that hatches and a stuffed animal comes out. She started crying because it didn’t work like it showed her on the commercial. We were so upset because we thought, you have to be happy, we paid too much for your happiness! It reminded me of another story, where I was tempted to throw my happiness keys. We were in business and I took our deposit to the bank. The balance was negative, and the teller had written our balance down with a big negative sign, circled it several times and slid it under the window back at me. I looked at it and I thought, ‘Well you didn’t have to circle it!” I just wanted to take those happiness keys and just throw them at her! She had just stolen my joy. But then I got back in the car and I began to thank God, “Oh thank you Lord, that Your joy is in me! My happiness is MY decision!” I had to choose that joy. There wasn’t anything happening on the outside that was making me happy. But it was the joy of the Lord on the inside that was my strength.
Proverbs 17:22 says “A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.” I’ve heard it said that a day without laughter is a wasted day. I think that’s true; I love to laugh! It lightens your mood, it releases endorphins in your brain, it increases your circulation and decreases heart trouble, it makes your body feel better! It even helps your immune system resist sickness and disease every time you start laughing. God made laughter and God knew that when He made us. So, I think it’s good and encouraging for us to find the laughter in things. I’m quick to laugh, always looking for the funny in a situation.
I heard a story about the comedian Mike Myers, he’s the voice of Shrek in our house. He was on a talk show and he was talking about his dad who was always able to find the laugh in life. He said he remembered a story when he was a little boy and they were broken down on the side of the road. He couldn’t fix the car, but he leaned in towards the kids and said, “How soon can we laugh at this?” And that was something that stuck with Mike Myers growing up. And I like that philosophy. I like to be quick to find laughter in something.
The other day Lake, my son, and Jay, my husband, came in, and they were both upset. Jay said to me, “Amy, you won’t believe what your son did!” And he proceeded to tell me about a bet that Lake had made, and it started to become funny to me. It was very clever what he did. It was wrong, but clever. So, I began to laugh and laugh ‘til I fell on the floor. Jay looked at me and said, “Well I can’t punish him now, you’ve laughed too hard!” Lake came to me about an hour later and said, “Mama, I’m so glad you laughed.” I did have to tell him “but you know what you did was wrong.”
We recently got to go to a comedy show starring John Crist. My husband had gotten me tickets for a present. We were on the front row, had gotten to go backstage and meet him. He was so kind, but I didn’t know if he was going to make fun of us or what was going to happen. So, in the show he looked down at my husband and he said “Hey Shorts (because he had on shorts) what do you do for a living?” And Jay says, “I’m a Pastor.” And we all laugh. Then later on in the middle of the show Jay tells me he’s waited as long as he could, he had to go to the bathroom. Well, we were in the front row and in a small arena. So when Jay gets up to leave John Crist sees him and stared him down all the way down the aisle. He looked at me and said, “That guy’s a pastor? How would he like it if someone did that in the middle of his sermon?” Later on I get a message from him because I had tagged him in a post. He thanked us for being a good sport about it all. And I said “Are you kidding? You making fun of us made our night!” But I remember other people on the front row who weren’t laughing when he was poking fun of them. But this was a great opportunity to laugh! Don’t take yourself so seriously, don’t worry about your mistakes! We went to the show and took our children and it stirred up laughter in us. What a valuable thing in our lives, we should look for chances to laugh.
My daughter was so inspired by that comedy show that when we got home and it was near Mother’s Day, she planned out a whole comedy routine and had three jokes that she wanted to tell in church. So we let her have the mic! Everybody laughed and it was good! Laughter is the best medicine!
The other day I had to take this medicine for sure! I was speaking at a luncheon, and I thought I was doing great. I was reciting Hebrews 12 how we are surrounded by a great crowd of witnesses, to lay aside those things that would easily try and snare you and weigh you down in your race, and keep looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith! And when I was done another minister came up to me and said, “Amy you said that was in Romans?” And I said, “no, no, it’s in Hebrews 12” And she said ‘No, you quoted it as Romans 12 the whole time.” Well I had a decision to make, do I laugh, or do I cry? I chose to laugh! I yelled out during the luncheon, “Hey everybody! If you are looking for that verse in Romans, you won’t find it! It’s in Hebrews!”
There are always going to be situations that we can laugh at instead of getting all stressed out, ruining our days, and stealing our happiness keys. But we can look for the laugh in it! I’ve heard it said that Joy is a serious business of Heaven. In the Bible, in Psalms it tells us that God sits in the Heavens and He laughs. God made you to laugh! Instead of being discouraged or disappointed, let’s just find the laughter. Let’s let a merry heart do good like a medicine on the inside of us, and let the joy of the Lord be our strength. Choose to be as happy as you want to be, and stick with the plans that God has for you!
Amy has enjoyed pastoring Faith Church in Danville, KY along side her husband Jay since they graduated from Rhema Bible College in 2001. Her son Lake (14) and daughter Summer (11) are sweet reflections of the love of God.
Amy takes a joyous approach in revealing the abundant life we have through Jesus Christ. She hosts a monthly Ladies' Meeting in Lexington at Family Worship Center Church and is a growing voice in the Body of Christ with both her weekly video devotional series, Stick With The Plan, and in events around the region and country.
Connect with Amy on YouTube at https://youtube.com/channel/UCHxbFHe3JpN6pwyaxfC8eSA
You can also find Amy Adkins on Facebook and Instagram at @AmyBaileyAdkins