Awhile back, I ran across an article describing what is needed for people to be happy. Before I read their list, I could not help but think about three things that make me very happy: my Lord, my family and ice cream. Even when it is cold outside, I enjoy a good bowl of ice cream.

I was disappointed when I discovered that according to the aforementioned article, ice cream was not one of their three things. However, they did list three great things. In order to be happy, they said, people need something to do, someone to love and something to look forward to. As I thought about these three things and what matters most in this life, I found myself agreeing with the article.

As believers in Christ, there is no doubt that we have something to do. We as believers have been called to spread the gospel around the world (Mathew 28:19-20). We have also been given gifts from the Holy Spirit to serve our Savior and others for God’s glory (Romans 12:1-6). Serving God and others is true meaningful work and there is no higher calling.

We also have someone to love. According to Jesus’ Great Commandment, we have God to love. In addition to God, we are called to love our neighbors. These neighbors might not look like us, act like us, or even smell like us, but they are our neighbors and they should be loved. We love God, because He first loved us, thus enabling us to reflect His love to others (1 John 4:9). It is absurd to claim to love the invisible God, but at the same time, not show love to His people. Neighborly love seeks nothing in return. Instead it unconditionally forgives (Matt. 18:21-22), bears one another’s burdens (Gal. 6:2), and sacrifices to meet whatever is needed (Acts 20:35, Phil. 2:3-4). Brotherly love is also a righteous love that tolerates neither false doctrine nor habitual sin (1 Tim. 5:20). Helping others is not always convenient or easy, but it is more valuable than you know.

Finally, as followers of Christ, we have something to look forward to. Right now, all followers of Christ have a deposit of what is to come. Through the Holy Spirit, the Lord has given us a guarantee of our full inheritance. One day, we will be welcomed into God’s presence forever. On that day, in God’s eternal home, we will enjoy a perfect place prepared especially for us (John 14:23; Rev. 21:3-4). It will be on that glorious day that we’ll see Jesus and be like Him (1 John 3:2).

Know this my friend, those who trust in Christ will not be disappointed (Rom. 10:11). Jesus has come to give us abundant life, both today and for all eternity. If we keep our focus on Him and participate in these three things, we will find ourselves happier than when we are eating ice cream.

Rev. Nathan Buchanan is pastor of First Baptist Church of Mineral Wells.

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