What Makes You Happy?
By Grant Phillips
Any person who does not know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior cannot understand the relationship that binds a true Christian with God. The result is true happiness, a happiness that runs deep and doesn’t just float on the top.
There is a heavenly happiness and there is an earthly happiness. Heavenly happiness is the peak, the very top and beyond of the mountain. Earthly happiness can come in two forms; legitimate and artificial and it comes from earthly people, things and places.
Heavenly happiness can be tasted in the here and now upon earth, and then reach its fulfillment in Heaven. Earthly happiness is bound by our life on earth alone.
Many factors, beyond number actually, can affect our state of artificial happiness that only lasts for a short time.
Maybe you know someone who just can’t seem to get enough. They are always buying this or that. Why? It’s like a drug they take but quickly wears off. They buy an item thinking it will make them happy. Maybe for a second or two, a minute or a few days, it does just that, but there it goes as it fizzles away, again. So they start the whole cycle, again, and get the same results.
Others may not be constant purchasers but they may be absorbed in an activity they have made their life. In this activity they derive their happiness, so they think. I used to work for two fellows who made their company and money their life. They just couldn’t get enough time in at work to get just a few more dollars to throw on the pile they already had accumulated. It’s been years since I worked for them, and sometimes I wonder if they ever reached the happiness they were seeking. The answer is obvious.
Then there are those who place their happiness in what they own. They aren’t constantly buying necessarily, but have made their possessions their life.
Happiness is supposedly found by some folks on the golf course, the fishing hole, the boutique shop, the mall. Some seek it in sex, music, reading, exercising, a pet, vehicles, dances, parties, alcohol, drugs, etc. I must stop here since the list could be pages long.
Some of these things mentioned are legitimate sources of happiness and some are artificial, even illegal or immoral, but none are permanent.
There is also a happiness many pursue through other people. The obvious is your spouse, children, parents, siblings, etc. However, other people cannot make you happy, even those closest to you. True, in some families a well-adjusted family can bring legitimate earthly happiness over the span of one’s life, and then there are those families that are not well-adjusted at all.
Even in the best of circumstances, true happiness does not come from people, places, or things. Real happiness can only come from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It must come from within us, not outside us.
The Apostle Paul said, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:” (Philippians 2:11) “For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:16)
Paul suffered much, yet he experienced true happiness. Observe some of his sufferings by reading Second Corinthians chapter eleven beginning with verse twenty-three. Then read the following verses.
“11Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
13I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:11-13)
Obviously real happiness is a state of mind that can only come from God. It isn’t something we manufacture or manipulate.
What makes you happy? Are you really happy? As I stated in the very beginning of this article, if you do not know Jesus Christ personally, you do not know real happiness.
Much of what constitutes earthly happiness is a sleight of hand, and the great deceiver, Satan, is behind it. Then again, many enjoyments of earth can and do bring us legitimate earthly happiness. Here’s the test. Can either sustain us during tough times?
Sin has brought many bad things into this world. We are a sinful people and are reminded daily that our rebellion against God has brought imperfection into this world we know. It started with our original parents, Adam and Eve, and continues with us today.
When bad things happen to good and bad people, what is the sustaining factor? Can we equate happiness with bad things? Yes, we can. Look at Job.
Satan tormented Job, with God’s permission, and therefore Job suffered mightily. Did Job grieve? Did he hurt? Was he in deep anguish? Was he puzzled? Yes to all the above. Now, was he happy? Yes, he was happy? How can I be so stupid you say? Think about this. “Happiness” in God, is equivalent to lasting “inner peace,” regardless what comes our way.
Ecclesiastes 3:4 says:
“1To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.”
Even though we weep from the loss of a loved one, there is still happiness in Almighty God. Even though we ache from the loss a storm brings, there is still happiness in Almighty God. Even though our body is falling apart, our spirit rejoices in God. There is “a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance,” and through out it all, we can be happy because we are at peace with God.
“Inner peace” is what we are talking about! Only true happiness from God can bring everlasting peace. We can’t get it anywhere else. That is real happiness.
When folks search for happiness in people, places, or things, they are actually seeking “inner peace.” They want “peace” inside their soul, but “inner peace” does not come from anything generated from man. It can only come from God, and He provides it freely through His only begotten Son, Jesus the Christ.
I ask again. What makes you happy? Are you really happy? Now let me ask, are you at peace with God? There abides true happiness.