Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Where is Happiness?

Much of my life I have been on a pursuit of happiness. I remember in college various professors speaking about the subject in my classes, from Humanities, Philosophy, Psychology, to English Literature. I would venture to say that most of us seek it, and many define happiness by different things, mainly in circumstances.

As I was reading my Bible today, I came across some verses in the Bible that specifically use the word "happy." It is my belief that God must want his children to understand the true source of happiness, and that it is obtainable. But just like many things in this life, we don't always choose to believe God and take Him at His Word. God's ways are not our ways, and it doesn't always make sense to our human reasoning.

I did a word search in the King James Bible with an online concordance, and here are some verses I found dealing with the word "happy."

PSALM 144 15 HAPPY is that people, that is in such a case: yea, HAPPY is that people, whose God is the LORD. Happiness comes through a personal relationship with God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

PROVERBS 3: 13 HAPPY is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. 18 She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and HAPPY is every one that retaineth her. Wisdom from God's Word gives happiness.

PSALM 146 : 5 HAPPY is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God: We can be happy when we realize that God is our source of help and our hope!

PROVERBS 16:20 He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, HAPPY is he.
Trusting God brings happiness. He will also teach us how to handle our affairs in this life.

PROVERBS 29:18 Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, HAPPY is he. Obedience to God's word brings happiness.

JOHN 13 17 If ye know these things, HAPPY are ye if ye do them.
The passage is talking about Jesus being Lord and Master, and his example of serving his disciples by washing their feet, and how we should follow His example of serving one another. In essence, happiness comes from serving others.

PROVERBS 14: 21b "but he that hath mercy on the poor, HAPPY is he." Giving and showing mercy to others in need will make you happy.

JOB 5: 17 Behold, HAPPY is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not the chastening of the Almighty: As a parent loves his children and corrects them, God lovingly corrects and chastens us to lead us in the right way.

PROVERBS 28: 14 HAPPY is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief.

I PETER 3:14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, HAPPY are ye:
I PETER 4: 14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, HAPPY are ye; suffering and bearing reproach for the cause of Christ brings happiness in a way which we can not always fully understand, but it brings glory to God.

PSALM 128: 2 For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: HAPPY shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. Working makes us happy, and we can enjoy the fruit of our labor.

PSALM 127: 5 HAPPY is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate. If God has blessed you with children, BE HAPPY and enjoy them! God has given us the most precious gift in our children. Sometimes people see children as a burden, but God says they are a blessing.

ROMANS 14: 22b HAPPY is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. Having a clean conscience before God, and in the sight of others will make you happy.

This is not a conclusive study on the subject, and I could go even deeper into the Bible by studying the words gladness, joy, blessed, contentment, etc. Do I always "feel" happy? No, not by any means. Proverbs 16: 3 teaches us to "Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established." First by faith we have to obey what He tells us to, then later the feeling, or thoughts, will follow. When I put my faith in what God tells me, and trust Him with my life, I can rest in His promises that whether I feel it or not, I do indeed have a happy life in God.


Nomad said...

Excellent study! Great topic! God is so good to give us His Word that has just what we need for every situation and question and feeling! I'm doing a study for myself just this afternoon. Different topic, though. :-)

Jamie Parfitt said...

Amazing! Ken and I were just talking about whether we should be seeking joy or happiness. Thanks for sharing all those verses!