Happiness Now

“Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches. Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised? Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision. Was anyone at the time of his call uncircumcised? Let him not seek circumcision. For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God. Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called. Were you a bondservant when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.) For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ. You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants of men. So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God.” 1 Corinthians 7:17-24.

Most of this chapter is about marriage, and whether or not it is good to seek a spouse. But here in the middle is the nub of it all: be content to obey God’s commands, no matter what your station in life. Where God has placed you in life is much less important than what you are doing while you are there.

Here in America, where we have more opportunities to change our fortunes, and create our own lifestyles than anywhere else in the world, we are so often discontent. It’s Iike we have too many choices, and we are always hoping the next goal will make us happy. “I’ll be happy when I get married…have a child…buy a house…the kids are in school…we’re making more money…are out of debt…when we’re retired…when we have grandchildren…when we die.”

The Bible has many accounts of God’s people finding favor while in captivity, being comforted by God in their low station in life. One of my favorites is a young girl who is not even named. Kidnapped by a pagan army and enslaved by their leader, she still has faith and compassion to share the good news of her God and His power.

“Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master and in high favor, because by him the LORD had given victory to Syria. He was a mighty man of valor, but he was a leper. Now the Syrians on one of their raids had carried off a little girl from the land of Israel, and she worked in the service of Naaman’s wife. She said to her mistress, ‘Would that my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.'” 2 Kings 5:1-3.

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