It is quite likely that most of us spend some time looking for ways to improve the quality of our life to ensure that we find true happiness.
But the question is what is happiness? A dictionary will tell us that happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being defined by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.
There may be many things in your life that you may think bring happiness. It could be your car, your family, your job, having money in the bank or a nice house. But do these things really bring long- lasting happiness? What if there is more to life than possessions?
A Buddhist Monk said, “No matter how many possessions we acquire, they will not provide us with any lasting happiness and freedom. On the contrary, it is often our pursuit of material possessions that causes our problems. If we want ultimate happiness and freedom from suffering, we must engage in the supreme practices of training the mind. There is no other way”
Would it surprise you if these sentiments and the keys to true happiness are actually found in the Bible? The Bible is a book written by God, which is able to give you a sense of purpose, a happy mind and contentment with the things that we have.
The Lord Jesus Christ tells a parable about a man who kept building built bigger barns to store his possessions. Suddenly, his life came to an end. All his achievements had come to nothing. The moral of the parable is that “a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things that he possesses (Luke 12:15). Possessions will not give us long-lasting happiness.
The Bible records the reign of many kings of Israel and Judah, but there is only one kingdom where we are told the people were happy. It was the kingdom of Solomon. His reign was a picture of what the reign of Jesus will be like. In 1 Kings 10:8 it says: “Happy are your men, happy are these your servants, who stand continually before you, and that hear your wisdom”.
The wisdom of Solomon was God-given. The comment above was made by the Queen of Sheba when she visited Solomon. She noticed that Solomon’s servants were happy because they stood before the king and heard his wisdom. We can stand before our king, the Lord Jesus Christ, and hear his wisdom. This will make us happy.
David the Psalmist wrote a lot about happiness. He comments in Psalm 34 that a person is happy when they trust in God. We need to taste and see that God is good. Taste is all about experiencing something, so we need to experience what God can do for us, to find true happiness.
In Psalm 32, David understood that an aspect of happiness is knowing that our sins can be forgiven. Forgiveness comes from God and through believing in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the gospel that is preached in the Bible.
It is important also to note, however, that believing in God does not always mean our lives will be easy and that we will not experience difficulties. We need to believe that trials are for our benefit, to make us more like Jesus and ready for God’s kingdom. This takes faith and trust in God – but the reward will be eternal happiness in the kingdom of God.