Connected to Happiness - 26 April 2018

Louise Gevers

“Seek your happiness in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desire.” Psalm37:4 “Happy are the people whose God is the LORD!” Psalm 144:15

Happiness is a much sought after, much desired state of being: elusive, as it means different things to different people; and fleeting, if we measure it by the moments of enjoyment in which we love, laugh and enjoy ourselves. Like so many people today, King Solomon found life meaningless. He advised, “Enjoy life with the one you love, as long as you live the useless life that God has given you in this world.” (Ecclesiastes 9:9 (GNT)) These words are surprising, coming from the man to whom God had said, “‘Ask me for whatever you want me to give you.’” (2 Chronicles 1:7) Perhaps his answer should’ve been, “Please give me what You know will best bring me happiness”?

Solomon acknowledged that love was a source of happiness, along with honesty, satisfaction from work and “hav(ing) reverence for God, and obey(ing) his commands …” (Ecclesiastes 12:13), but he generally appears very despondent throughout his writing. I always feel sorry for Solomon, despite God’s great blessing of wisdom and riches to him, because he was born before Jesus came to the earth, and too early to experience the abundant life that only He can give. Even though he possessed great wisdom and wealth, which built his kingdom, which he then found to be meaningless, he fell into the trap of looking for more power through riches and women, thus turning his focus away from God, who had blessed him with more than his heart had desired, and towards idols.

The truth is that we can gain the whole world but lose our soul, (Mark 8:36) and find everything “useless” like Solomon, or go away, despondent, like the rich young ruler who, after asking Jesus what he should do to inherit eternal life, went away “very sad, because he was very rich” (Luke 18:23) because Jesus had told him to sell all he had and to give his money to the poor. Being tied to our blessings can destroy our happiness, material or other. We indulge ourselves and can’t see the danger.

Paul said, “… they will know God’s secret, which is Christ himself. He is the key that opens all the hidden treasures of God’s wisdom and knowledge.” (Colossians 2:3) What he means is this: true and everlasting happiness lies in knowing Jesus, who alone is able to unlock the treasures.  We sometimes fool ourselves into believing what we see and live life according to appearance rather than the truth, the opposite of what the Bible teaches. God denies happiness to no-one who serves Him: “Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires; God will satisfy them fully!” (Matthew 5:6) He is happiness...

Prayer: Father, we know that we are at our happiest through finding meaning to our lives when we follow Jesus, who opens to us Your hidden resources. Thank You for the rich happiness we experience as Your people when we love sacrificially and share our blessings. Please root our true happiness in Your love. Amen

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