by Molly Audiss
Psalm 144:15, “Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people whose God is the Lord.”
John 13:17, “If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.”
Matthew 5:7, “Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy.”
In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word “o-sher”means happiness. The Greek word “makarios” in the New Testament means the same thing. It is sometimes translated as “blessed,” and other times it is translated as “happy.” This word means “fortunate” or “very happy.” Happiness is mentioned 50 times in the New Testament, alone! The most well-known appearances of this word are when Jesus spoke it in the Sermon on the Mount. He used the word 9 times in a row. We call this section of Scripture the “beatitudes.”
Happiness is different than joy. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit; it is given by God and can be ever-present in our lives, regardless of our circumstances. (Galatians 5:22-23) In the Greek, “joy” (chara) is gladness or a calm delight. Happiness is something that “happens” to someone because of the circumstances in their life and or because of something they do or do not do.
Happiness must be important to God for Him to record it in the Bible SO MANY times!
Jesus is concerned about our happiness, and He gives us many different ways to experience happiness. Now, some of these ways come about through circumstances that don’t seem happy at all- mourning, persecution, and trials. But the Bible tells us that happiness is most often a product of how we choose to live- as a peacemaker, righteous, godly, meek, etc.
Here’s the practical thought I keep having and want to share with you this week:
Jesus gave us MANY ways to be happy. It’s almost like a buffet….so many choices! He did not name off a long to-do list we must accomplish before we can be happy. No, He mentioned options, each one bringing happiness. He did not make happiness elusive or hard to come by. Happiness must be something God wants for His children, because it is many so often in His Word!
1. God intends for His children to enjoy happiness, both on Earth and in Heaven.
2. Happiness is not a constant, like joy. It comes with circumstances or ways of living. There will be times of happiness. But, happiness is readily available to us. We can choose it by our actions and attitudes.
3. I want to be like the Lord, and offer those in my life many ways to be happy.
My main take-away from this Bible study is that I want those around me to have lots of ways to be happy. That is how the Lord feels about happiness, and that is how I want to feel, also.
Friend, is it easy for those you love to be happy? Do you make it easy? Or do you require people to jump through lots of hoops? Do you put your happiness in the hands of others? Why? Are you known as a person that creates happiness for others?
Our wonderful Heavenly Father cares about our happiness. He cares so much that He filled the entire Bible with examples and instructions on how to be happy! Let’s take His example and fill our lives with lots and lots and lots of different things that make us happy!
I love the quote I heard from Mrs. Vickie Mutchler. “When I found out that happiness was in my own control, I got to work on a plan.” We can be happy. We have options! The best part is that our happiness is not put in the hands of someone else. We can choose it for ourselves, everyday. God gave us lots of ideas. Let’s use them. This world should be filled with happy Christians! Be one of them.