People sometimes mistake fun for happiness and laughter for joy. Fun is shallow. Happiness is deep. Laughter is on the surface but often a smiling face masks the tears within. Statistics just released show that unhappiness has risen in the past decade.

There’s more misery in people’s lives than there was a decade ago. That finding is based on the kind of troubles people are willing to share with researchers. Obviously, some things are too painful to share with others, especially in a phone survey. So it is safe to conclude that people are even more unhappy than the statistics show.

The University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center conducts social science research for governments, municipalities and non-profit organizations and others. The researchers surveyed 1,340 people about negative life events and found that the 2004 respondents had MORE troubles than those who were surveyed in 1991, the last time the study was done. (1)

The study’s author was expecting people to be happier – but the results were not encouraging. Tom Smith, thought the good economic years during the 1990’s would have meant fewer problems in people’s lives, not more. “The anticipation would have been that problems would have been down,” Mr. Smith said.

People were asked about 60 specific problems and they could list an additional two problems specific to themselves. Problems ranged from financial woes, health issues, unemployment, to troubled romantic relationships.

People can fill their lives with thrills and fun and laughs – but behind closed doors in solitude, the masks come off. Tears. Clenched fists hitting a wall. Heavy sighs. Worried looks. Tossing and turning in bed when sleep does not come easily. Sick feeling inside. A knot in the stomach. A racing mind. Dark thoughts.

Is this as good as life gets?!! Is this really it?” Momentary thrills soon subside. Highs become lows too quickly. Hopes can be dashed without advance notice. Laughter can be interrupted by bad news. Smooth sailing can turn into violent waves.

Would you like something more permanent and deeper? Would you like to have an inner fountain of joy and happiness that never run dries, even when the circumstances of life are dark and frightful? Would you like to stop TRYING to be happy and to just BE happy and joyful? People become exhausted in their pursuit of good times and lasting happiness. But everything the world has to offer is so elusive and transitory.

Here’s what you need or rather, ‘who’ you need: Christ! He offers you an ABUNDANT, overflowing life of peace and inner contentment and eternal security. (John 4:13-14; John 10:10) You will still have the normal struggles of life, but with Christ you will have what you never had before – peace, the meaning of life, security and a personal relationship with God.

You will never find what you are looking for until you experience Christ. Your search will come to an end when you find the rest and joy that He gives.

Is He available to YOU? He sure is! He loves you. He died for your sins and His arms are open wide, waiting to receive you. He will change your life and your outlook on life. He will change your destiny.

Beaten and bruised by sin, He will accept a sinner of any kind and will forgive their sins. He died for ALL types of sins. Yours included. The Bible says: “The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son cleanses us from ALL sin.” 1John 1:7

Jesus said: “Come unto me all you that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28