Are You Happy?

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Genesis 30:13(KJV) And Leah said, Happy am I, for the daughters will call me blessed: and she called his name Asher.

One of the definitions for `happy’ is “feeling or showing well-being, pleasure and contentment.” Happiness is the feeling of being well, being healthy, or being prosperous. It is to derive pleasures from things, circumstances or persons. Thus, to be happy is contingent on happenings of things and events. It is the emotion often expressed over expected or desired results.

Factors that influence happiness vary from persons to persons. They range from areas of personal interests and preferences. Some argue that happiness is relative but regardless of differing opinions on that, the big question remains, “Are you happy?”

How often have you said, “I just want to be happy”? How often have you said to your spouse or children, “I just want you to be happy”? True happiness is what we possess internally! It is not necessarily, what we produce externally. It is intrinsic to human existence, wellness, successes, relationships etc.

According to Kenneth Benjamin of Happiness International Team, “Happiness is when your life fulfills your needs.” He said that happiness comes with the feelings of satisfaction and fulfillment. He stated that, “Happiness is a feeling of contentment that life is just as it should be. Perfect happiness, enlightenment, comes when you have all of your needs satisfied.” Was this the same feeling expressed by Leah in the text above?

As a Christian, and pastor, I would think Christians ought to be the happiest people on earth but I have seen many non-Christians who in like manner, appear happy at what they do, and at times even happier in their expressions. This is because being happy is a feeling of accomplishment of goals, believes, desires etc., and cannot limited to being religious.

However, the Christian form of happiness transcends the feelings and emotions derived from earthly things. They are celestial in nature. A Christian not only has the right to feel and express being happy but also in addition, has everlasting joy that supersedes happiness. David in Psalm 16:11 points to the source of his joy, and describes its form – “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Thus, he possessed complete joy, and the delightful pleasures of being in God’s presence. His relationship with God resulted to rights to divine revelation, guidance from God, and unending pleasures.

The aforementioned explanation of joy distinguishes joy from happiness. God is the Source of the Christian Joy, and is not temporal, nor contingent on earthly things. It hinges on God’s promises, His Word, and the completed work of Jesus Christ for humanity. In the words of S. D. Gordon from Christian Quotes, “Joy is distinctly a Christian word and a Christian thing. It is the reverse of happiness. Happiness is the result of what happens of an agreeable sort. Joy has its springs deep down inside. And that spring never runs dry, no matter what happens. Only Jesus gives that joy. He had joy, singing its music within, even under the shadow of the cross.” Another fascinating expression of Joy by A. B. Simpson describes it that, “It is His joy that remains in us that makes our joy full”.

James challenges believers to count it all joy when in various trials (James 1:1, 2 NKJV), and introduces a new perspective to Christian sufferings. Paul in his letter to the church in Galatia, identified Joy as a fruit of the Holy Spirit living in believers (Galatians 5:22-23).

Thus, if you are without Jesus Christ as your Savior your happiness, if you possess it, is temporary. Nevertheless, you can be happy in Jesus Christ today…if you will be honest with yourself and with God. You too can find lasting joy in addition to the happiness you now have. You can possess the joy of the Lord, and let it become your daily and unending strength, peace and hope. God bless you!

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