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Are You Happy?

Are You Happy?

      What is happiness anyway?   Upon looking up happiness, one will find several definitions and examples.  Happiness is a mental or emotional state of a positive nature.   The definition is: “feeling or showing pleasure or contentment.”  The problem with such a definition is that it is subjective.  One must determine for themselves what it is that makes them happy, content, or from what they derive pleasure.  

     Other ways of understanding the idea of happiness are found in the way the idea of “happy” is used.  It could mean having a sense of confidence in, or satisfaction with a person, arrangement, or situation.  It can also mean being satisfied with the quality or standard of something.  Or, willing (happy to) to do something, etc.  So, the question should be: “What is it that makes you happy?”     What is it that will provide you the long-lasting contentment, pleasure or feeling you so desire?  

      Thus, the quest begins.  Many seek happiness in the things of this world or the things of a physical nature.   These can only bring “temporary” pleasure or a fleeting feeling of contentment. The Spirit had the wise preacher, Solomon, the son of David, write in Ecclesiastes 1:14 so that all could know the fallacy of seeking happiness in the “works” of the hands of man (the things of the world).  I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.

Vanity and vexation of spirit does not fit the definition or examples of happiness at all, do they?    

     Many seek happiness throughout life, and when the initial feeling of euphoria or contentment of their present quest passes, they move on to something else.  They are seeking and never finding that which can and will make them happy in this life and the one to come.  As we read Proverbs 28:14 we can see that true and lasting happiness only comes from serving God.   Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief.  “Feareth” here means a continual respect for God and His Word and following it.   Those who do not, are not happy.  They will “fall into mischief” while seeking true happiness elsewhere.

      While speaking to His disciples (apostles elect) and teaching them a valuable lesson in humility in John 13:17, Jesus said: “If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.”   All of the teaching of Jesus and all that was sent to messengers by the Spirit (the Bible) is designed to produce happiness in the adherents thereof.  Another way to say “happy” is to say “blessed”.  We know this as the same Greek word (makarios) pronounced mak-ar’-ee-os, is used for both happy and blessed here in all the translations of the Bible.   There is another Greek word translated “blessed” (eulogetos) yoo-log-ay-tos’, found in places such as Ephesians 1:3 which means “adored”.    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

     This fact being established, we look to the “beatitude” of Matthew 5:6 to see what the Lord stated in these “Pentecost Pointers”, which would cause one to be happy or blessed. Blessed (happy - makarios) are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.   As we seek true happiness, we can only find it in righteousness.  The word righteousness means justification. It is so used in Romans 1:16 and 17: “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith.” The righteousness of God is that justification which God imparts to man through obedience to the gospel. (Number One Gospel sermons – Foy E. Wallace, page 105).       Therefore, for one to be truly happy (blessed) one is to seek righteousness.    This means to obey the gospel and continue in it.   

    This is what Jesus was saying in Matthew 6:33, still in the midst of the Sermon on the Mount.  He was teaching the Jews that would listen about the coming of the promised kingdom; that which was to begin at Pentecost A.D. 33, therefore pointing to Pentecost.     But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; (justification – which is only in Christ) and all these things shall be added unto you.  Jesus wanted all the Jews to be “happy” or “blessed”.    He wants us to be happy as well.  He wants us to be obedient and remain so, and because of that we will have happiness here on earth, and if we remain faithful, we will have happiness for eternity.  

     In John 2:5, we have an inspired record of some very sound advice given by the Lord’s mother that leads to happiness.  Jesus had arrived at the marriage in Cana of Galilee and His mother made the observation that the beverage for the marriage feast had been depleted.  Then as the servants awaited direction, Mary gave this sage advice: Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.   If we would make “doing what” the Lord has said in His Word an integral part of our lives, we will truly be happy. 

     Still, we are the only one that can make the choice regarding what makes us happy.  Additional advice to Christians was issued by the Spirit and penned by the beloved apostle John in 1John 2:15-17.   This will help us avoid seeking the world’s happiness and keep us on the path to true happiness for eternity with God.  Love not the world, (sin) neither the things that are in the world. (sinful things) If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.  Are You Happy? You can be!       Be obedient today, remain faithful and prepare yourselves for eternal happiness.     

                              Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ

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