TO CHEW ON: "Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help,
Whose hope is in the Lord his God." Psalm 146:5
Happy: enjoying, showing or characterized by pleasure; joyous, contented.
By the definition above, are you a happy person?
When we look at Bible references to happiness, we find that reasons for happiness can fall into at least three categories:
1. Creature well-being
Some people are happy because life is going well and according to plan.
- Those who are able to do a day's work and support themselves and their families are described as happy (Psalm 128:2).
- Those who are able to bear children (like Leah and her maid in Genesis 30:13) and carry on their family lines (like the full-quiver man in Psalm 127:5) are happy.
2. Creature nobility
Some are happy because they are living with the satisfaction of doing the right things—things like:
- showing mercy to the poor (Proverbs 14:21).
- living by the laws of the land (Proverbs 29:18).
- generally pursuing wisdom and good sense (Proverbs 3:13).
3. Creature realism
Perhaps the most profound happiness comes out of an acknowledgment of our creatureliness under God (Proverbs 16:20).
- The happiness of the crowd after understanding the Law of Moses during Nehemiah's time (Nehemiah 8:12) flowed from this realization.
- Showing reverence toward God brings happiness (Proverbs 28:14).
- Living by the upside-down laws of the Kingdom of Heaven — like serving others as Jesus served His disciples by washing their feet (John 13:12-17) — brings happiness.
As our focus verse implies — happiness is the result of our relationship with an all-powerful God. He is our helper now and our hope for the future.
If you and I claim to have this relationship with God but are unhappy, perhaps examining our lives in relation to the last two categories will give us some clues why.
- Are we unhappy because we're violating our consciences by not living like we know we should?
- Are we unhappy because we're not sure we want to enthrone Jesus as our Lord?
PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to experience the happiness of living with a clear conscience under You as my Lord. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.