Are You Happy?

“Mommie, are you happy?” my two-year-old son asked me recently. Not thinking much of it at the time, I brushed the question aside with an automatic answer, “Of course I’m happy, Buddy, ” I said smiling and ruffling his hair with my hand.

Later that day, during some rare quiet time, I remembered my son’s inquiry. Was I really happy? I was pretty sure I was. But what is happiness? What makes me happy? Is happiness something I should desire? What does the Bible say about being happy? I found myself in deep thought about what at first seemed a simple question with a simple answer.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines happiness as a state of well-being and contentment. So perhaps the question would be better phrased, am I content? I can honestly say I am. Not because I am rich, successful or powerful, but because I learned to be satisfied with what I have, not always longing for more.

How is it possible to be satisfied, whatever my situation? My satisfaction comes from knowing Christ has forgiven me, cares for me and has a plan for me. In Phillipians Chapter 4 verses 10-13 Paul writes, “I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him (Christ) who gives me strength.” What is significant about this, is that it was written while Paul was in jail awaiting a death sentence. Instead of finding happiness in material things or worldly circumstances, he found his happiness in knowing and serving Jesus.

Happiness that is contentment in Christ is certainly something I should desire. Seeking happiness from anything else only leads to emptiness. Money, relationships, fame, achievement can not satisfy me. No matter how much I have, if I seek fulfillment only in the world, the deepest longings of my heart will never be satisfied. Ecclesiastes Chapter 2 Verses 10-11 says, “I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.” Those words were written by King Solomon who seemingly had everything, but he turned away from God.

John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” Only that kind of love, a love so deep that God gave the life of his only son for me, can fill my heart with unending joy no matter my lot in this world. 

Have you searched for happiness everywhere, only to come up short? There’s only one place to find it. Seek contentment through the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ.

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