ALEXANDRIA, La. (BP)–Women live longer than men do but they are unhappy. Well, maybe — it depends on whose study you want to believe.
USA Today reported on an upcoming study in the Journal of Happiness Studies that states men’s happiness exceeds women’s happiness by age 48. On the flip side, U.S. News & World Report referenced a study earlier this year that showed women reach the zenith of unhappiness at 38 years old, men when they are 53 years old. So, who knows?
What is undeniable is that men and women go through periods of crisis based on finances, family and their future. That’s where the followers of Jesus have the opportunity to step up and make a difference. We need to share the peace that comes through Jesus.
In the Old Testament, the Lord spoke through Jeremiah the prophet to remind the captives in Babylon, “For I know the plans I have for you — [this is] the Lord’s declaration — plans for [your] welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).
The New Testament words of Jesus in John 10:10 are an oft-quoted promise of peace, “I have come that they may have life and have it in abundance.” (HCSB)
The first verse speaks to God’s concern for the individuals that make up his chosen nation. God has not forgotten you. In your pain and despair, there is hope. The latter verse states that eternal life is a blessing for this life, not just life after death.
The cliché says, “I may not know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future.”
If you have a friend, female or male, who is struggling with unhappiness, you can share your testimony or story of faith with him or her. Although your circumstances may be different, the God who takes care of you can take care of your friend as well.
With verses like those referenced above, show your friend God’s promises of peace. Then share how He has given you peace.
Walk them through verses that tell of God’s offer of eternal peace. It can be something simple like the Roman Road (Romans 3:23; 5:8; 6:23 and 10:9-10) concluding with the great promise, “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13).
Be intentional about showing genuine concern. People are hurting.
Invite them to trust Jesus alone for their salvation, receiving His peace. Use your own words. I usually ask something like this, “Wouldn’t you like to have the kind of relationship with Jesus these verses describe?”
If the friend says “no” be respectful of his or her decision. You are not the means of salvation but only a messenger. People need to have an encounter with the Holy Spirit of God. Only Jesus saves.
If the person desires to begin a walk with the Lord, help them through a prayer of surrender. Since there are no magic prayers to pray or exact words that must be spoken to receive Christ, I lead them in a prayer, based on the promise of Scripture in Romans 10:9. “Dear Jesus, I confess you to be my Lord. I repent of sin and surrender my life to you. I believe that you are alive, that you are God. Thank you for saving me. Amen.”
It doesn’t take years of study to find out that people are hurting and unhappy. Just look around. The person hurting may be your co-worker, your friend or your family member. Won’t you share the greatest source of happiness, joy and peace with someone today?
Keith Manuel is an evangelism associate on the Louisiana Baptist Convention’s evangelism & church growth team.