An unknown author once wrote, “Happiness is the seed; happiness shared is the flower.”
A recent study, in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, looked at the perks of sharing positive experiences and its effect on one’s mood. In a 4 week study, participants kept a journal of positive experiences, and shared those experiences with a partner twice a week. Those who shared their positive experiences increased in positive affect, happiness, and life satisfaction over the course of the four week study. In summary, their findings suggested that positive affect, happiness, and life satisfaction reach a peak only when participants share their positive experiences and when the relationship partner provides an active-constructive response.
In 1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20 we read, “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming. For ye are our glory and joy.”
Inspiration tells us that God could have reached His objective in saving mankind without our aid; but in order for us to develop a character like Christ’s, He gives us an opportunity to share in His work. In order to enter into His joy – the joy of seeing souls touched by His word and redeemed through His sacrifice – we must participate in His efforts to save sinful humanity.
Jesus saw every soul as one to whom must be given the call to His kingdom. He reached the hearts of the people by mingling among them as one who desired their good. He connected with people on the street, in their homes, in private gardens, on their boats, at family gatherings and celebrations. Day or night He was ready to share the truth about His father with mankind. He met them at their places of work, and showed an interest in the affairs of their daily lives. His care and attention to the details of their lives helped to win their hearts.
The example Christ set for reaching humanity is the example that we have had the joy of developing and sharing with our students and staff at Fountainview Academy. We are focusing on three core areas for sharing the message of salvation with others.
First, sharing among our own students and staff. What better environment for students to learn to share their testimonies and the blessings of the gospel, than among their peers and staff members who are supportive and want to see them succeed in sharing God’s truth with others. There is a joy that comes from sharing what Christ is doing in your life with close friends. It is a source of encouragement and it deepens the bonds of friendship. The happiness shared among staff and students are the flowers that become a beautiful bouquet in the garden of our bucolic campus.
Second, we endeavor to share the joy of knowing God in our local communities. Through local outreach activities, like supporting a nearby church’s vegan cooking class each month with a handful of student volunteers, joining a small church family in another nearby community for Sabbath worship services and spending the afternoon going door-to-door inviting people in the community to join the weekly Bible studies, programs, and church services.
Thirdly, we endeavor to reach the world with the joy of knowing God through our outreach, music and media ministry. It is our heartfelt desire to connect people around the world with the joy of loving and serving God, leading by the example of the joy that we have.
That endeavor has been richly rewarded by emails and comments from people around the globe who have been changed by the testimonies, the music, and ministry of young people sharing how God is working in their lives.
Now, the fascinating thing about joy is that it reaches its peak , as the study showed, only when it is shared with a “relationship partner.” Friends, your friends and family are waiting for you to share the joy of God’s love and His life-changing power with them. Our DVD productions bring a lot of joy to those who watch them, but wouldn’t an even greater blessing be to use one of the DVD productions to plant a seed of joy in somone else’s garden? We enjoy the blooming bouquets in our garden here at Fountainview, but our vision is much bigger than that! We desire to see bouquets of joy blooming all around the world, changing lives with the message of salvation and the soon coming of Jesus. Will you do your part? Will you plant some seeds for a garden that will reap an eternal harvest of lives changed for the kingdom of God?
I would like to challenge you to share one DVD production with someone this month. Choose one production, and pray for an opportunity to give it to someone. Take it with you wherever you go and God will open the door with an opportunity to share your joy with a friend. Without a doubt………It’s never been easier to share.