Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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How do we know whether our happiness is born out of a strong relationship with God or out of positive circumstances? Is it reasonable to be upset with God when circumstances aren't going well; although we're told to be thankful to him under all circumstances? Should we call out for help?

Excerpts from Psalm 30, NKJV: "Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name. For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning" (Ps 30:4,5). "Now in my prosperity I said, 'I shall never be moved.' Lord, by Your favor You have made my mountain stand strong; You hid Your face, and I was troubled" (Ps 30:6,7). "You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever" (Ps 30:11,12).

These two questions combine one thought: What determines my inner contentment? If it is I or my circumstances, then it is unreasonable to be upset with God when things go wrong. On the other hand, if I find joy in my relationship with God, then calamity will not dampen my hope in Him, for my relationship with God is my prosperity. In either case, God's presence in my life completes my joy and gives me hope. The mere thought of His absence in my life is disturbing. Contentment is better than "happiness". Most people are not "happy" to be poor or sick; but can still experience contentment and gratitude with however little or much they possess.
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