Question: What is true happiness?

    Answer: The average person probably thinks of happiness as pleasure and cheerfulness (common definition). Happiness, according to the Bible, is much more substantial and, therefore, lacking the whimsical nature so often associated with shallow happiness. The Christian can even be happy while suffering and being reproached (1 Pet. 3: 14, 4: 14). There are five Hebrew and two Greek words translated happy. They essentially mean to be at rest and safe. One translation reads, "If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them" (KJV, John 13: 17). Another reads, "...blessed are ye if ye do them" (ASV). Happiness, then, is blessedness, blessedness predicated on obedience to God's commandments.

    The Bible pronounces certain ones as happy. Those who have mercy on the poor are happy, according to Solomon (Prov. 14: 21). Those who acquire wisdom, trust in the Lord, and keep God's law are said to be happy (Prov. 3: 13-18, 16: 20, 29: 18). Those who do not fall away, but endure are happy (Jas. 5: 11). Kind reader, you have probably already noticed that external conditions do not determine happiness. Hence, Paul could be content (happy) while in prison for Christ (Phili. 4: 11-13, 1: 7).

    Doing God's will produces an atmosphere which is conducive to true happiness. Children are taught to obey their parents in the Lord (Eph. 6: 1). Two reasons are supplied: "For this is right" and "that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth" (Eph. 6: 1-3). Not loving life, guilty conscience, and nothing to look forward to all result from not being in covenant relationship with God (1 Pet. 3: 10-12, Eph. 4: 4, see Prov. 13: 15).

    God wants to bless us (make us happy), but we must submit to Jesus' Lordship and do what God tells us in his word (Luke 6: 46, Jas. 1: 12). Such is true happiness.

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