I think we can all agree that, as a human race, we generally want to be happy.
Americans seem to be especially concerned with it.
It’s so important to us that our founding fathers ensured our right to the “pursuit of happiness” found its way into the Declaration of Independence.
Someone even recently made a movie all about pursuing happiness, except they spelled it wrong…
Unfortunately, we pursue happiness down many fruitless paths.
We inexplicably follow well-worn trails that have been tried and found wanting by so, so many before us.
We try to find happiness in such things as material possessions, appearance, status, and the list just goes on and on.
Well, I had a crazy idea. I thought, “why don’t I take a look in the Bible and see if it says anything about happiness.”
I know, I know, totally crazy.
But anywho, guess what?
Yep, I found something.
Let me share this little nugget of truth with you.
In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in the 5th Chapter of Matthew is a very well known passage of Scripture that we call the Beatitudes.
Did you know that the term beatitude comes from a Latin word meaning “happiness?” For Real!
We call it that because each of the eight verses that make up this passage of Scripture begins with “Blessed are.”
The meaning of blessed in Greek is…yep…it’s “happy.”
So, you could read the beatitudes as “Happy are…”
Let’s do that right now. Here they are:
• ….the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven (5:3)
• ….those who mourn: for they will be comforted. (5:4)
• ….the meek: for they will inherit the earth. (5:5
• ….those who hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they will be filled. (5:6)
• ….the merciful: for they will be shown mercy (5:7)
• ….the pure in heart: for they will see God. (5:8)
• ….the peacemakers: for they will be called children of God. (5:9)
• ….those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (5:10)
Believe it or not, I have found the ostensibly elusive formula for happiness!
There it is! Read it a few more times if you want.
Here’s how it works:
Happiness is responding to Jesus’ call, accepting him as Lord and Savior of your life, and becoming conformed to his image through the work of the Holy Spirit living in you.
This results in having God’s character develop in your life, the manifestation of which is described in the above passage.
Only in him and through him will you find happiness. But the good news is that He offers you a relationship with him as a free gift.
One of my favorite truths (outside of the Bible) is a quote by Augustine, the fourth-century Christian theologian, and I think it sums up well the human condition.
Augustine said this of the relationship between God and man, Creator and created,
“Our hearts are restless until they rest in thee.”
We don’t have to be restless. We don’t have to spend our time in hopeless pursuit of happiness.
The secret to happiness is no secret.
Please share it with others!