Happiness seems to be the basis of life for most people. When asked what would make them happy most tend to give you a long list of pleasures that they spire to for their life’s journey to be complete. As a result of this pursuit many have ended friendships and even marriages, and when asked why they simply reply “I wasn’t happy”. The dictionary defines the word happy as “feeling or showing pleasure or contentment”, therefore; when these feelings seem depleted one will say I am not happy. I have searched throughout the Bible to find an accurate definition of the word happy, and though God desires His people to be happy, what it looks like to Him is a whole lot different from what we think it should be. In actuality, the Bible never really makes reference to happiness, but more so to joy as the basis for our journey.
As I perused the scriptures to find what God declares as ultimate happiness, these verses stood out as trademarks for those seeking lifetime contentment:
Romans 15:13: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you will abound in hope and overflow with confidence in His promises.
Hebrews 12:1-2: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who by faith have testified to the truth of God’s absolute faithfulness], stripping off every unnecessary weight and the sin which so easily and cleverly entangles us, let us run with endurance and active persistence the race that is set before us, [looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity], who for the joy [of accomplishing the goal] set before Him endured the cross, disregarding the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God [revealing His deity, His authority, and the completion of His work].”
James 1:2-3: “Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace].”
Psalm 30:5: “For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may endure for a night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning.”
Psalm 16:11: “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.”
Psalm 126:5: “They who sow in tears shall reap with joyful singing.”
Though these are only a few, the Bible is filled with a deluge of scriptures that speak to what is considered ultimate joy for the journey. The answer to this most sought after pursuit is that true happiness is found only in God alone. God knows us better than we know ourselves and though His ways to our happiness may seem counterproductive at times, He has the master plan. He knows that the way to true happiness and contentment (joy) can only be initiated through Him. The apostle Paul says it best in this final scripture”
Philippians 4:11-13: “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. I know how to get along and live humbly [in difficult times], and I also know how to enjoy abundance and live in prosperity. In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret [of facing life], whether well-fed or going hungry, whether having an abundance or being in need. I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.]”
The hallmark therefore for every believer is to be content (joyful) in every circumstance, because this is the will of God concerning you.