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Blessed But Not Happy

First Baptist Church, Broken Arrow, OK, is a very mission minded people.  They have always had a heart for the nations.  As a church, our Mission’s Pastor, Kevin Cottrell, and his Global Outreach team have frequent contact with numerous church planting partnerships in the US and around the world.  Several times, I have made a trip with one of our groups to some remote part of the world.

Every time I have gone, I am the one that is changed.  Although we go with the plan of helping those on the ground, they are God’s instruments that He uses to change my outlook, my gratitude, and my desire to be more devoted to Christ.

When some American stands in a remote village where clean water would be a luxury, ample food and clothing is not even on the wish list for so many because of austere living conditions, and there is no doctor or medical facility to help when there is serious illness, the impact of those moments is indelible.

However, what is amazing in those settings is to see the smiles on the faces, the openness of their hospitality, and the lack of high stress with which we live in the USA.  Their countenances are bright, and their smiles are genuine.  They have very little of the world’s benefits, but they are wealthy in relationships and hospitality.

Former heavyweight boxing champion George Foreman, in his book GOD IN MY CORNER, explains how money couldn’t buy him happiness.  He writes: 

           Before I met God, my attitude was about as bad as it could get. Even when everything was going well for me, I couldn’t see it. And I didn’t appreciate it. When Muhammad Ali fought me for the heavyweight championship, I received a five-million-dollar paycheck. That purse was an astronomical amount of money in those days and would be worth many times more than that amount in today’s dollars. No fighters had ever been so well-paid in the history of boxing. You’d think that being a multimillionaire would bring instant joy to my soul.

It didn’t. Because I lost the boxing match, I couldn’t enjoy my money. I had five million dollars in the bank but couldn’t find pleasure in even one penny of it!

I chose to see the worst in my situation, and my stomach was tied up in knots as a result. My sour attitude caused me to sink into deep depression, even though I was filthy rich. Five million dollars could buy me anything I wanted—except happiness. (George Foreman, God in My Corner, Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2007, p.71-72). 

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorns have roses.”
Alphonse Karr.   “You’ll never find a rainbow if you’re looking down”  Charlie Chaplin. “If you expect the worst, you’ll never be disappointed.”  Sarah Dessen.

Proverbs 15:13  – A glad heart makes a cheerful face