The ‘H’ Factor

If you are wondering what the ‘H’ letter stands for, it represents “HAPPINESS!”. If somebody were to ask you “What is happiness to you?”, how would you respond? Some people define happiness as having enough possessions such as money, clothing, food, shelter, fame etc. All these things are good, do not get me wrong, but is there a limit? How can you define happiness with all these things? Wouldn’t you assume that you want more? Happiness in my own opinion is “being content with what you already have, and using it to the best of your ability”. It is easier said than done, believe me I have been there! Being happy also enables us to have good health, and lower blood levels according to John Partingdon (2014). What makes you happy? Having things can make you happy, but they are just temporal. I remember in my secondary school days, we made scooby doo key rings. You could twist them into any shape and design that you like. It was so fun, until it started to come out of fashion. What am I trying to say? The things of the world are more inclined to come out of fashion; you just won’t be able to keep up. Does that mean we should stress about it? Not at all.

Finances are on your neck, and you need it to pay bills, debts, school fees etc. Yes these are all important, but are you going to stay miserable until the money comes, or will you decide to be happy regardless of the situation? As I always say to my friends “YOU ARE IN CONTROL OF YOUR OWN HAPPINESS!”. Your happiness comes first! If you are not happy, you spread it towards others. One rotten apple spoils a dozen of other apples in the basket. You could be the one to encourage, yet feel so down and disheartened. You can be happy one day, and the next day you are resentful. Believe me it happens. You would be surprised at the amount of people you know that are so kind and compassionate, and another day you’ll be thinking is it the same person I met a few days ago…

Everyone has ups and downs. We are all aware of that…but do not allow what you are going through to pull you down or make you lose your focus. When you make others happy, not only will your life be happy, but God Himself will be happy with you, and eventually, the blessings will start to unfold. Lets wake up every morning knowing that THIS IS THE DAY THAT THE LORD HAS MADE, AND WE WILL REJOICE AND BE GLAD IN IT! We must always have in mind that it is Gods Grace that keeps us alive and well every day, so it is an opportunity to make the most of the day! The two words that are vital are “Rejoice” and “Glad”. Together, they contribute to “Happiness”! In all things, find one thing and be happy about it!

Even when you are facing hard times, see it as an opportunity that through every opposition, there will be a blessing involved! We are all at testing times, but we must not allow the testing times to define our state of heart and mind. You are the one who controls your happiness. You cannot give anybody the full satisfaction of telling you when to be happy, when to be sad, when to be miserable. We all have our own lives to live. So if you know anyone that is having a hard time to be happy, check yourself first, before you speak to that person, because when your happy, they also are more inclined to listen to what you have to say. So I ask, do you have the ‘H’ Factor?

Remember; happiness is not about collecting material things or beautiful memories, it is about having a deep feeling of contentment and knowing that life is a blessing! For more information on contentment, please refer to my previous blog “Are you Content?”

So I ask: Do you have the ‘H’ factor?

Happiness

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Are you content?

Contentment

 

What is holding you back? What is making you complain so much that you do not realise what you have? I know it can be hard! I have been there as well! But can you look back on your life and really dwell on the good things that has happened? The blessings, the love, the family in your life, the career, protection? All these things we have and even more! It’s just time we start to realise it!

The question I usually ask myself is ‘What makes me content?’ Is it having a lot of clothing, or having the best job that pays generate amounts every month? Would you be able to define contentment for me? From what I believe it is, it is being grateful for the things you have now, and not complaining about what you do not have. From a biblical perspective, Paul was talking about how he was content for all he had, although he did have some needs and desires. He stated this in Philippians 4 verse 11: “Not that I am implying that I was in any personal want, for I have learned how to be content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am”.

Paul stressed the importance of contentment and about how he has fixed his mind on being content regardless of the circumstance he is in. It is very important to remember what we have, and use it to the best of our ability. It may be a job that you are working at. A lot of time, society can define you by where you work. For example, if your someone who works at McDonald’s or Primark, society may classify you in a way that you aint ‘in the now’. But do not allow this to define you. You must know who you are! You are not where you work, but it is how you define the situation that makes the difference.

You may work at these organisations, but are you using it to build your skill set? The role you are in now is shaping you towards your future. Where you are now, God knows why! It is not a mistake! He knows why you are still where you are. Don’t feel because you are not living the ‘high life’ that you cannot enjoy your position. I recall a time in previous years where being  ungrateful took over. I would complain about little things, cry my eyes out, look at others and what they have and compare it to my situation, and not realise how much God had blessed me. Even up till now, I can say I am a living witness to the Goodness of God! I may not have everything I desire now, but when God says it is time for Him to bless me, I will wait with high expectations!

Remind yourself always to wake up happy and joyful. Why? Because ‘this is the day that the Lord has made…we shall rejoice and be glad in it!’. The most important thing you and I have today is LIFE! Life is the greatest gift of all! We tend to take it for granted because we know we have a good God that wakes us up everyday! But can you imagine those who cannot wake up on their own? Maybe those who slept last night and didn’t make it the next day? How about those who have to be supervised to get up each morning? Yes you would say ‘but I am not them’; this is why we have to be content in every situation! Lets always be happy! Regardless of what comes our way! Some people can annoy you, and yes they will, but should you allow that to disrupt your happiness? No…make a decision to always thank God for all you have! There is always someone out there who would love to be in your position!

Do not take your position for granted! There is a reason why you are there! For now, hang in there, because it will only get better! Your best days are surely ahead of you! Continue to be grateful and content for the things you have! Some day, God will use what you have and take you to your destiny! In the meantime, keep encouraging others and ensure you inform them on the importance of contentment 🙂

 

TO BE CONTENT DOESN’T MEAN YOU DON’T DESIRE MORE, IT MEANS YOU ARE THANKFUL FOR WHAT YOU HAVE AND PATIENCE FOR WHAT’S TO COME! 

 

Patience…Do You Have It?

Patience is a virtue! Patience is what gives us peace! Patience says God you take control, and I will trust you in the meantime…It is a great feeling to practice patience; not only when we want something, but in ALL THINGS! But what is patience to you though? How do you define patience?

As for me, I define patience as:

‘Patience is not about how long you can wait. It is how well you behave while you wait’.

So in other words, it is about the way you behave in your day-to-day lives whilst waiting on God. When you want more of God, your heart will automatically be connected to Him and not on earthly things. For it says in Luke 21 verse 34: “But take heed to yourselves and be on your guard, lest your hearts be overburdened and depressed (weighed down) with the giddiness and headache and nausea of self-indulgence, drunkenness, and worldly worries and cares pertaining to the business of] this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap or a noose”.

The cause of being ‘overburdened’ comes from impatience. There have been certain times in my life where I was impatient for things. Sometimes it would make me over think things, and re-prioritize my decisions. It can be difficult when you desire something, but in your heart you are convinced that you have to wait. In the meantime, let us look at four points as to why patience is vital for our everyday lives:

1) Why Patience is a Virtue

To be patient is to endure without discomfort without complaint. This calls into play some other virtues, in particular; self-control, humility, and generosity. That is, patience is not a fundamental virtue so much as a complex of other virtues. An example from the life of Christ illustrates this. Jesus was very patient with his disciples. Not only with His disciples, but people who were around Him. Those that were trouble makers such as the Pharisees and Levites, those that would try to manipulate Him, those who would disobey Him. They were sometimes thick-headed, lazy, selfish, and slow to believe. Even from a merely human standpoint, we can see how frustrating Jesus must have been but He still had to HUMBLE himself despite all the pain and wait for God to show His justice. In spite of Jesus’ miracles and words of wisdom, they were focused upon themselves and wavered in their belief about who He really was. To say that was uncomfortable for Jesus would be an understatement. Yet do we find him railing at his Disciples, Pharisees or Levites over their foolishness and stupidity? Or making fun of them when they make mistakes? No, but what He did realise is due to their lack of belief, Jesus developed patience for them all and allowed them to learn from their unbelief. This is what we also should be practicing in our lives. When a friend or family member offends you, how will you take it? We should make conscious decisions to think about what we say before it comes out of our mouths, because not everybody’s learning ability aren’t the same. This is why patience is a virtue, and is good to practice waiting in love.

2) The Varieties of Patience

One way to distinguish different types of patience is based upon the nature of the discomfort involved. The following threefold distinction can be made:

– The first is the patience needed when facing a nuisance of some kind. A person or a set of circumstances may really irritate you, and you would love to complain about it, but you hold your tongue, knowing that such a grievance would be petty or make the situation worse. That person at the office who is annoying does not mean to pester you, and what good will it do to moan about the situation? Do you think speaking to someone else about the situation will make it all better? So you quietly endure these things. When you do this, you are being virtuous!

– The second type of patience is called for when facing boredom. Those who fall into situations at work or at home often experience discomfort in various ways. What do you do when facing boredom? My answer would be to seek God even more. Pour out your heart to Him, and in the meantime, brush up on your Word. Keep yourselves productive; don’t be idle.

– The third type of patience is the most serious and significant. It is the patience required when one suffers in some way, either physically, mentally or psychologically. If you’re struggling with pain, depression or mental illness, then patience is required of you. Or if you must assist someone else who suffers, a family member or friend, then you are called upon to be patient. Whether you bear the burden of affliction directly or indirectly, your challenge is to endure that discomfort. This does not mean you shouldn’t cry out in your distress unless its to God of course. Scripture advises us to do just that, so it’s appropriate because the degree of discomfort in some situations warrants a complaint. Yes at times, we are tempted to vent and complain, but this raises some important questions: Why complain and which complaints are worth discussing?

3) Why Patience is so Difficult

From a personal standpoint, I don’t know which is more difficult—exercising patience with God or human beings. Both can be tremendous challenges, and none of us have perfected the art of being patient with each other or with God, because if we truly did, we would not be complaining up till now. I become impatient with myself (a potential third category worth considering) because I struggle in being patient with other people and with God, and it is true. When I want something now, God tells me ‘in my time’. I tend to feel very uncomfortable, but as it says in Jeremiah 29 v 11 that His thoughts and plans for us are of good and not of evil, to give us a future, a hope and an expected end’.

But patience is difficult in both cases. First, why is patience with other people so difficult? A natural response is, “All human beings are sinners and therefore selfish and annoying.” But a psychological explanation also helps to explain why patience is so challenging which is the natural human condition of being immediately aware only of one’s own thoughts and feelings. When standing in line or waiting in traffic, for example, all the people who are waiting are equally as important to get what they wait for to arrive at their destinations. I know, however, only my own thoughts and am intimately aware of only my own needs, which naturally incline me to put myself first. The result is frustration that I’m not first, and this strongly tempts me to be impatient.

4) How Patience is Developed

Pain and suffering teaches us endurance and empathy. The experience of mercy and forgiveness inclines us to be more merciful and forgiving. We gain moral maturity each day precisely because each day brings some difficulty that we must overcome whether it is laziness, attitude problems, low-self esteem etc. Like it or not, we persevere, and we are morally the better for it. This is why James in the Bible tells us to “Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4)That family member or work associate who annoys you is God’s gift to you to build your patience. If you’re stuck with a job you don’t like, and you can’t find any other work, then God is building your patience. Each nuisance, long wait, and affliction, traffic jam, missed bus, and body ache in the life of the Christian raises threshold of tolerance extremely. It is what can make you a more patient person. When we desire something, and we do not receive it instantly, it does test our patience, but also our FAITH! How much do we want something? Are we willing to wait? Just because you see someone get married, does that mean you too should rush into getting married? It is not always easy to wait, but when we do, we develop patience, and we also allow God to have His way in our lives to work us inwardly.

So patience is a virtue, a difficult but important one for every one of us. While every day our patience is tested and increased, we must be mindful of the process of sanctification and how God is at work in our difficulties, even in tiny annoyances, to make us more like Jesus. But as Peter says, we must “prepare [our] minds for action” (1 Peter 1:13). We must be intentional about increasing our patience, perhaps even by using mental exercises, but definitely by practicing the spiritual disciplines. Let us focus ever more clearly on the example of Christ in order to imitate Him in all things, large and small. Will you wait?

Patience

Blessing Thou Art Loose!

Blessings

Hello beautiful people! It’s a new month and I am grateful that we have all made it thus far! Lets continue to be expectant and hopeful for the remaining 3 months we have left of 2014 :D.

I have been pondering on the word ‘blessing’, and I believe that it is important to have blessings, but to also BE a blessing unto others, as well as ourselves. I believe that God wants us to enjoy our lives to the fullest! It is a good thing that we should treat ourselves with things we desire. Whether it is getting your nails done, shopping, travelling, going to social events, parties etc, we can all do these things, but of course in moderation.

From a biblical perspective, I strongly do believe that God is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him, and when I say seek, I also am relating to putting Him first in everything that we do. This includes confiding in Him and allowing Him to be first person in our lives. Yes at times, we can be quick-tempered to run to others just to get a quick response, but God is the one that can really understand you. However, what makes me think deep is that we should seek God for who He is.  Throughout August, I have had some things in my life that did not go to plan. Some things I wanted then I did not receive, but it is just a bit of patience and more trust and FAITH that will enable God to work in my life.

I went to a Grace Convention last month also, and I learnt a lot from it. What stuck to me the most was when the preacher said that the word ‘Grace’ is unmerited favor (in other words undeserved favor). So it is unconditional Grace that God shows us everyday, even when we are in sin, yet He still loves us. It is such an amazing feeling to know that God loves us even when we feel guilty. This is where the blessings of the Lord comes in. In Philippians 4 v 19, it says “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

We must be reminded that God will supply all of our needs. At times, it can seem as if we need to clean up our acts, or behave well in order for God to bless us. Yes I have been there where I felt that if I do not pray hard enough, or spend enough time with God, then my prayers won’t be answered, but remember that the devil is a liar! We must always be reminded and rest assured that Gods Grace is sufficient for all of us.

The best thing we need to do as strong believers is to TRUST GOD and His timing for our lives. Remember that He has planned everything for our lives, from beginning to end; we just need to allow Him to reveal it in our lives in His time. Not only that, but if you know someone who is on the edge of giving up, please encourage them. The pain that we face just because of lack of encouragement can be upsetting, but we must always be thankful for what we already have. Let us not take anything for granted, especially the things we possess now at present. Greater things are heading our way, we just need to be thankful in every situation. We do not choose to thank God for some blessings, but for ALL BLESSINGS, so in the end, the blessings that God has promised to give you will eventually get loosed!

Things may seem confusing, yes I know, but trust God that your blessings will not be in vain. Jesus is our BIGGEST blessing ever-present and we must cherish that for the rest of our lives. Remember that blessings does not always have to be in the form of finances, it could be a word of encouragement, recognition, cleaning, washing up, letting someone on the bus before you etc, all these are acts of blessings. Let us be reminded of these things in this uncertain world. Remember when you bless others, God will take care of your own needs, so be anxious for nothing, but in everything, with supplication and thanksgiving, make your request known to God.

OUR BLESSINGS TO OTHERS WILL COME BACK ON US!

The more were blessed by God, the more he expects us to help others!

God bless you all!