I’m not sure if you have ever been asked that question but when you have a terminal illness, it can be a difficult one to answer.
Recently, I was interviewed by James Macpherson, an incredible pastor, leader and friend.
He asked me that question along with others, including my belief in a good God when faced with the challenges of Motor Neurone Disease (MND).
Are you happy?
This was my answer: Many of us are familiar with the concept of “the pursuit of happiness.” I don’t think that you can pursue happiness or chase happiness down.
I think happiness comes from finding meaning and purpose in life. If you discover meaning then happiness is a by-product. If you’re chasing happiness, it can’t be found in the things this world has to offer.
Happiness, however, can be a product of you discovering why you are here and what is the meaning and purpose for your life.
When you discover meaning and purpose then happiness follows.
I have discovered meaning and purpose for my life and therefore the answer to your question is: “Yes” I am a person who has joy even in the midst of suffering, debilitating illness and pain. There is a deep joy that bring feelings of happiness.
To watch more of the Q&A-style interview and answers to more tough questions, you can check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hb4-moeVFaTM
Have a blessed day,
March 13, 2015 at 10:55 am
Blessed by knowing you – inspired to manage my own illness with such grace. Thank you for being you and thank you and Lenore for sharing God’s love and purposes – And for being full of the joy of life. I very much look forward to our next catch up. M xx
March 19, 2015 at 10:03 am
Thank you so much, Lenore and I loved catching up. Hope you make it to Colour.
March 13, 2015 at 10:56 pm
Thank you for sharing all the way through, I truly believe that having a disease that is with you till death will, if we allow it bring us even closer to God and increase our trust and faith…. you are inspiring. and I’m still praying for God to heal you, there is a little selfishness in that, that if He heals you there is hope for me, my daughter and my grandson, and many others… but if He doesn’t, I now know I could not trust him, or love Him less, praise His mighty name 🙂
March 19, 2015 at 10:04 am
So true Maz. keep trusting Him.
March 14, 2015 at 9:23 am
Thank you for your honesty and your grace. I don’t know why God allows what he does, but I have faith in the bigger picture and his amazing love. I’m a friend of Kathy’s, a blog writer and a lover of Jesus. Thanks for keeping it real #heavenlyjava
March 19, 2015 at 10:05 am
Thank you for reading the blog. I look forward to checking yours out as well.
March 14, 2015 at 7:23 pm
Hi Pastor Phil. Thanks so much for doing this blog and sharing your journey. I have been increasingly challenged in my faith and whether it has the depth to stand through the trials of this life. I now have two young daughters and have been struggling with the concept that God loves us and is good, but does not always stop bad things happening to us. I feel conflicted because I want them to trust in God and know He loves them but I cannot promise that He will keep them “safe”. Thank you for reminding me that we are more than this physical body. That although I cannot promise that He will prevent every bad thing happening to our physical body, I CAN promise them that He will always hold their spirit and soul in the palm of His hand where no sickness or disease or trauma can touch it. If you have any insights that may help me understand this concept I would be very grateful! 🙂
March 19, 2015 at 10:08 am
Hi Elise. The best insights we can receive are ones that come through reading the Word and allowing the Holy Spirit to illuminate its truth to our spirits. Spend time meditating on His love and goodness while reading His promises. He b=never leaves us no matter how dark the shadow gets.
March 17, 2015 at 6:46 am
Loved the video, my friend. I especially liked your answer to “are you happy.” I liked that you paused before you answered; it’s not a question to be taken lightly.
For unbelievers, joy and happiness are synonymous, but I don’t think that’s true for Christians. My joy is based in my eternal hope, it’s constant. But happiness is often based on present circumstances – many times I “don’t feel happy, but I can still reach down and find that inner joy.
I’m so thankful that you’re progressing so slowly and that your voice is still strong and clear.
March 19, 2015 at 10:13 am
Hi Bill. Thanks again for your insight and wisdom. Those Q & A ‘s are a little daunting to say the least. Wasn’t sure what James was going to ask. Be assured my friend your blogs have been a pillar of strength for me and tremendous insight.
If you ever doubt your own purpose, meaning or reason for being you. I’m just one of many lives you are impacting deeply.