Happiness should never depend on circumstance

Published 3:01 pm Wednesday, June 16, 2021

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Dear Rev. Graham: Our son has graduated from college with academic honors and high hopes. Within weeks, the economy plunged, the job market dried up, and he says he has lost his faith in God. It seems hopeless to keep him moving forward. — H.H.
Dear H.H.: The year was 1939. A luxury liner pulled out of New York. Passengers from nearly every country across Europe were on their way home. The ship was brilliantly lit. The orchestra played at dinner. The passengers idled the hours away in pleasure and anticipation as the ship sliced through the waters of the North Atlantic on its way to Southampton.
Three days out the news was flashed to the ship that Britain and France had declared war. Lights were doused; passengers scrambled to their cabins. Emergency guns were mounted in the stern and bow in response to the news of enemy submarines lurking near. Out of the darkness came a mighty explosion. The ship began to list and lifeboats were lowered. The voyage that began full of anticipation and joy had ended in stark tragedy.
Many young lives have started just this way, living for Christ as long as things remained good but then turning their backs on God when things began to crumble. This is also the story of the children of Israel. The Apostle Paul penned wise words that all people would do well to commit to memory and keep before them. “Stand fast [assured] in the Lord… I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be [humbled], and I know how to abound” (Philippians 4:1, 11-12).
Parents can help their children learn that happiness should never depend on circumstances, but to look beyond the circumstances in order to learn to trust God even in the dark times. Those who trust in Him don’t focus on circumstances but rather on the resources of God.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

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