Ask a dozen people what brings true happiness and you’ll probably get a dozen different answers. Here are a few common replies:
- Financial security
- Physical health
- Family harmony
- Having a job that you really enjoy
- World peace
- Add your answer!
There’s no problem with experiencing happiness with any or all of the above, but trouble comes if we depend on them for happiness. Circumstances change, people change, the weather changes, the world changes. If these things on which we base our happiness change, then our emotional state will go through an upheaval, too.
So where can true happiness be found? In obeying God’s Word. I know, I know, not everyone will agree. Some folks feel God is determined to take away our fun and following His rules is restrictive. I felt that way in my teen years, but I was wrong!
Psalm 119: 35 says, “Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found.” It doesn’t say, “Give me a nice house in a nice neighborhood, for that is where my happiness is found.” Neither does it say, “Give me good health until the day I die, for that is where my happiness is found,” nor “Give me a family that knows how to function properly, for that is where my happiness is found.”
Nope. Happiness is found when we do life God’s way. That doesn’t mean we’ll never have problems. It doesn’t mean we won’t take the fallout from someone else’s issues. It doesn’t mean we’ll never suffer sorrow or pain or loss. But doing life God’s way guarantees freedom from guilt. It gives us the strength to face and move beyond our fears. It gives us peace in the midst of hard times. And it guarantees joy that comes from unbroken fellowship with Jesus.
Where is happiness found? Not in anything we can see or touch. It comes from doing life God’s way. Let’s make v. 34 our prayer: “God, give me understanding and I will obey your law; I will put it into practice with all my heart.”
Have you ever based your happiness on anything other than walking according to God’s commands? If so, what was it, and what happened?