Happiness Is …

   Recently, I heard a man read a list of several things the author considered “happiness.” They were all very simple things; items that many would take for granted if not brought to focus on the cheerfulness of the object. The Bible lists some things that bring us happiness. Let’s take a look!

   When the queen of Sheba visited Solomon, she made this statement, “Happy are thy men, and happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and hear thy wisdom.” (1 Kings 10:8; 2 Chronicles 9:7) Students know during Solomon’s reign as king of Israel, there was no war, there was tremendous prosperity, and the wisdom God gave Solomon was to lead God’s people wisely (2 Chronicles 1: 9 -13). Though Solomon pleased his several wives more than he pleased God (thus suggesting he did not himself follow the wisdom by which he guided Israel), one must admit Israel during this time was indeed happy!

   Eliphaz, one of Job’s three friends who came attempting to comfort Job in his troubles, states, “Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty: For He maketh sore, and bindeth up: He woundeth, and His hands make whole.” (Job 5:17 - 18) Though Eliphaz failed to answer Job’s concerns, his statement in this passage is quite correct. God uses discipline to correct His children. (Hebrews 12: 1 – 7 – 13) As the Hebrew writer confesses, “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” (ibid.) As children, we didn’t understand our parents saying, “This will hurt me more than it does you.” As parents, we emphatically understand the statement and rejoice that our parents desired the best of us, and chastised us when we expressed less than our best behavior. It is of much greater value to be chastened by the God of heaven who desires not only our best behavior but our unquestionably faithful life!

   At Psalm 127:5, after speaking of the blessings being the Builder of the home, the psalmist writes, “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.” Are our children mindful of God building the home? If not, why not? Ephesians 6: 1 – 4 verifies there is no other way pleasing in God’s sight than to raise children in His admonition and nourishment!

   Again the psalmist writes, “Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD.” (Psalm 144:15) So many people do NOT have God as the Lord (ruler) of their soul. No wonder so many souls are miserable! Solomon concurs as he wrote, “Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.” (Proverbs 3:13) and again, “He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he.” (Proverbs 16:20)   Where other than God would one find these immeasurably valuable treasures? (James 1:5 – 8)

   Happiness is found in the words of those speaking within the New Testament as well. Jesus said, “If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.” (John 13:17) What things are we to know? Consider Peter’s words at 2 Peter 1:3: “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue,” as well as Paul’s statement to Timothy: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:16 – 17) Doesn’t it make you happy to read, study, learn and obey God’s word?

   Concerning our lives of faithfulness (which is much more than the assembling of saints) Paul writes, “Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.” (Romans 14:22) Such a righteous life is conducted by the authority of Colossians 3:17; knowing that anything we say or do must please our Father or leave us condemned! Thus, obedience is happiness!

   Last, Peter offers two passages concerning our happiness. First, “But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled.” (1 Peter 3:14) The second is very similar as he said, “If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part He is evil spoken of, but on your part He is glorified.” (1eter 4:14) Suffering for Christ is a pleasure! After all, He suffered for me!

   Now, consider your life as a Christian. How happy are you? If your faith and vitality are where it needs to be, you’ll find it isn’t this world’s goods that bring true happiness, but God and His spiritual blessings! Be happy by obeying Him in all you say and do!