The Secret to Lasting Happiness and Joy

27 Jun

Several years ago, I was pregnant with our second child. Unfortunately, over Valentine’s Day weekend, I started to have problems. My husband took me into the local clinic. (Our regular doctor’s office was closed for the weekend and no ultra-sound was available.) The doctor told us as gently as she could that the baby would probably not survive. My husband and I were both heartbroken. We didn’t want to give up our child. We didn’t want her to die. So, we prayed. We got our church praying and both sets of grandparents’ churches praying. However, as I sat in my bed crying out to God, I knew that I had to let go. I had to give up my own will, as difficult as that was, and trust my Lord. Even today, this story is difficult for me to tell.

So, there in my own little bed, crying out to my Lord, I gave up my will and prayed instead, ‘Thy will be done. If we can’t have this precious little one to raise, please hold her for me until I can join her in heaven with You.’ It was the hardest prayer I have ever prayed. Afterwards, however, I felt a peace I can’t explain. It wasn’t like the Lord told me she was going to be okay. It was more like I had let go of a great burden. I mourned our child. Don’t get me wrong, here. I wept and wept and so did my husband, but we knew it was in the Lord’s hands and while that was heartbreaking for us, it was good.

Finally, Monday arrived and I could go to our regular doctor’s office and have an ultra-sound. The doctor warned me that because she was only a few weeks gestation, that they might not see anything. After only a few seconds with the machine, a baby was sighted, one with the strongest heartbeat they had ever seen for one so small. She was born eight months later, healthy and beautiful. We named her Gabriella, which means ‘the Lord is my strength’. She is our miracle child. I know that had I not given her up, we would not be blessed by her presence in our lives today.

The reason I told this story goes right back to my will versus my God’s will. My will is to have others serve me. My Lord’s will is for me to serve others. My will is to be honored and praised. My Lord’s will is to give Him all honor and praise. My will is to have many blessings. My Lord’s will is for me to be a blessing to many. Which will I choose? Which do you choose?

The secret to joy is simple. It’s surrender. It’s being fully submitted all the time to the Lord’s will rather than my own. It’s a choice we all have to make daily, even moment by moment throughout the day.

Joy is not dependent on circumstances. Which do you love more, good circumstances or a good God? Joy is dependent on trust.

Proverbs 3:5-12 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. 6Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. 7Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil. 8Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones. 9Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce. 10Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine. 11My child, don’t reject the Lord’s discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you. 12For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights,” (NLT).


Posted by on June 27, 2011 in encouraging posts


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6 responses to “The Secret to Lasting Happiness and Joy


    June 28, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Your words are very true and well spoken. It’s in finding His will that we find joy. So often we grasp at straws when He wants us to have the whole field. Blessings to you and thanks for sharing your heart.

    Kris Newman

    • ChristinaLi

      July 1, 2011 at 4:27 pm

      Thank-you. T. F. Tenney says, We can’t pray ‘Thy will be done,’ until we are willing to pray, ‘My will be gone’. When I surrender all, God blesses me beyond all that I could ask or imagine. That field is pretty amazing!

  2. Sis. Tulla Priessler

    June 30, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    Thanks for sharing such a tough momentin your life. it is so true that we need to trust HIm with all things. Keep writing Sister!

  3. ChristinaLi

    July 1, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Thank-you, Sis Tulla! I’m so glad the Lord is patient with me, leading me closer to Him and His full truth, step by step. It’s only through surrender that we are finally able to see and understand. I just have to get more in the habit of surrendering than being stubborn and wanting my own way!

  4. nwatrud

    July 20, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    Sister Li, I love your post, especially, “Joy is not dependent on circumstances. Which do you love more, good circumstances or a good God? Joy is dependent on trust.”
    Amen, Sister…amen.

    • ChristinaLi

      July 20, 2011 at 10:49 pm

      It’s really hard sometimes to surrender what you want, especially when it’s not really selfish, but it’s seemingly good–to you, but that’s exactly what God asks us to do. I have to choose, daily, to trust Him more than myself or my circumstances. It’s not easy, but it’s good. Thanks so much for your comment!


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