Lately, I have been seeing posts about “happiness” and how to achieve it. And, it was one of my goals for 2019, to be a “happier” person. It’s not that I’m an unhappy person, but sometimes anxiety and life in general can certainly feel like it has zapped my happiness. A Google search of “how to be happy” will retrieve 6,410,000,000 results! And there are countless books, articles, podcasts, YouTube videos, and songs about “happiness”. When I think of the things that produce happiness for me, it’s things like getting a new pair of shoes, having a date night with my husband, my kids having a good day at school, and being at the beach. But, the new shoes aren’t “new” after a few days, I can’t go on a date night every night, my kids don’t always have good days, and I don’t live at the beach. Those things create temporary and short-lived happiness. So is happiness only to happen on those occasions? Isn’t there more? What about all those in-between “happiness” days? I’m certain of one thing, we cannot rely on our circumstances to make us happy. Jesus was clear about that, “you WILL have suffering in this world” (John 16:33 CSB). The NIV version states, “you will have trouble”. Our circumstances in this world will not always be what we would like.
The dictionary defines “happy” as, “feeling or showing pleasure or contentment”. Contentment. Paul can teach us some things about being content. As he wrote letters contained in the book of Philippians, he was confined to a jail cell. Not the most “happy” of circumstances. But here is what Paul had to say, “Not that I speak from [any personal] need, for I have learned to be content [and self-sufficient through Christ, satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or uneasy] regardless of my circumstances” (Philippians 4: 11 AMP).
What else can the Bible (the ULTIMATE self-help book) teach us about “happiness”?
Jesus said, “I have told you these things so that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy may be made FULL and COMPLETE and OVERFLOWING” (John 15:11 AMP).
“Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and though you do not even see Him now, you believe and TRUST in Him and you greatly rejoice and delight with inexpressible and glorious joy, receiving as the result [the outcome, the consummation] of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1: 8-9 AMP).
“You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16: 11 AMP).
“Trouble and anguish have found me, Yet Your commandments are my delight and joy” (Psalm 119: 143 AMP).
“Make my JOY COMPLETE by being of the same mind, having the same love [toward one another], knit together in spirit, intent on one purpose [and living a life that reflects your faith and spreads the gospel- the good news regarding salvation through faith in Christ” (Philippians 2:2 AMP).
“Blessed [HAPPY, fortunate, to be envied] is he who has forgiveness of his transgression continually exercised on him, whose sin is covered” (Psalm 32:1 AMPC).
“Therefore with JOY you will draw water from the springs of salvation” (Isaiah 12: 3 AMP).
The words JOY and SALVATION are mentioned multiple times in the verses above. We can draw happiness like you “draw water from the springs” from the simple fact that WE HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN and OUR SALVATION IS SECURE, regardless of our circumstances. And we can hold tight to this promise, “He will swallow up death [and abolish it] for all time. And the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, And He will take away the disgrace of His people from all the earth; For the Lord has spoken. It will be said in that day, ‘Indeed, this is our God for whom we have waited that He would save us. This is the Lord for whom we have waited; Let us shout for JOY and rejoice in His salvation’ ” (Isaiah 25: 8-9 AMP).
I’m reminded of a hymn that says it so well, “At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, and the burden of my heart rolled away. It was there by faith, I received my sight, and now, I am HAPPY all the day”.
I also want to remind you that there is NO circumstance too big for God to handle in your life. If you are doubting God’s power, I encourage you to read through Job 38 and 39. He is mighty and He can handle anything you are facing. Thank you for reading and please comment and tell me your favorite verse about lasting happiness.