Psalm 34:10, “Those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing”
Matthew 5:3, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”
Everyone is looking for happiness, and people follow many pathways that seem to be marked “This Way to Happiness”, trying to find it. Some people travel the money path while others follow the way of entertainment. Then, still others head down the route of power and self-gratification. That’s the wrong list because the problem with those roads is that they are all dead ends and lead to utter frustration. My beloved, the only way to happiness is the course God has clearly outlined in His precious and Eternal Word. The way and pursuit of happiness can be found in Psalm 34 and Matthew 5.
In Psalm 34 David charts a course that when followed leads to all the advantages we need in this world; advantages that can be ours no matter if we are rich or poor, healthy or sick, famous or unknown. The way to happiness is marked by these signs: (1) Praising God – “My soul shall make its boast in the LORD” (Psalm 34:2); (2) Seeking God – “I sought the LORD, and He heard me” (Psalm 34:4); (3) Fearing God – “Oh, fear the LORD, you His saints!” (Psalm 34:9), and (4) Living for God, “Depart from evil and do good” (Psalm 34:14).
Jesus taught us in Matthew 5 that deep and long lasting happiness comes from being right with God, our Creator. He said we are blessed, or happy, when we are:
(1) Poor in spirit – recognizing our desperate need for God;
(2) Mourning – realizing the awfulness of sin and being genuinely sorry for it;
(3) Meek – demonstrating self-control, even when we are mistreated;
(4) Hungry and thirsty for righteousness – longing to be holy and pure;
(5) Merciful – showing mercy to others, just as God shows mercy to us;
(6) Pure in heart – being single minded and sincere in our devotion to Christ;
(7) Peacemakers – sharing the peace that Christ offers, and promoting peace with one another;
(8) Persecuted – being willing to suffer for Jesus’ sake.
My beloved, happiness comes from going God’s way and not the way of the world. Traveling other paths will take you on a very long journey to nowhere. Thus, to find true happiness, trust and obey God’s directions found only in His Eternal Word.
If you’ve lived long enough, we’ve all had our share of both laughter and sorrow. Although we naturally enjoy laughter more than tears, we would have to say that most of the wisdom we’ve gained along the way we owe to the sad times. Yet, many believers are obsessed with the pursuit of personal happiness. However, the writer of Ecclesiastes rated such a pursuit as foolish (Ecclesiastes 7:3-4).
So, my beloved, the sooner we get over the illusion that more stuff or things means more peace, happiness, and self-fulfillment, the better off we will be. And then the more able we’ll be to find the longed-for peace and happiness that only Jesus Christ can provide. What is our greatest need in life? Is it to be happy? We may long for a change in our circumstances, and sometimes that’s what we get; however, a changed life is our deepest need. Changed circumstances may make us happier, but a changed life will make us better, for it will make us like Christ Himself. The questions remain:
(1) What is your main pursuit in life?
(2) Is it the things of this world that are temporary?
(3) Or, is it the riches one has in Christ Jesus?
Ecclesiastes 2:11 tell us, “All was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun.” Lasting satisfaction doesn’t come from possessing tangible things like savings accounts and material goods. Recent events have shown that these things can suddenly lose value. To find true happiness, we have to find it in Someone who is not from “under the sun” and that is our Savior, Jesus Christ. Hymn writer Floyd Hawkins wrote, “I’ve discovered the way of gladness. I’ve discovered the way of joy. I’ve discovered relief from sadness … When I found Jesus my Lord.” Only He can give joy that is full (John 15:11).
To know happiness, get to know Jesus.