By Ana Renee
What makes you happy? A nice, warm mug of hot cocoa? A big hug from your baby sister? A long hand-written letter? In our modern world, there are many things that make us “happy” and many things that steal our happiness. But what is happiness according to God’s Word?
In the Old Testament, one form of being happy is esher, meaning “how happy!” What things does God consider adequate to make us happy? How can we truly be happy?
1) Have God as our Lord
Psalm 144:15, “Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD.”
2) Fear God
Psalm 128:1-2, “Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in His ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.”
Proverbs 28:14, “Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief.”
3) Trust God
Proverbs 16:20, “He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he.”
4) Keep God’s Law
Proverbs 29:18, “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”
5) Seek God’s Help
Psalm 146:5, “Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God:”
6) Accept God’s Wisdom
Proverbs 3:13, “Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.”
7) Show Mercy to Others
Proverbs 14:21, “He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.”
In the New Testament, the Greek Word for happy is makarios, meaning “Supremely blest, fortunate, well off.” Added to the Old Testament’s list for happiness, we can have happiness with the following:
8) Serve God and Others
John 13:16-17, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.”
9) Suffer for Christ’s Sake
1 Peter 3:14, “But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;”
1 Peter 4:14, “If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.”
True happiness is not merely a mushy, warm feeling, but a secure faith and trust in Christ Jesus, a heart wholly dedicated to serving Him.
Are you happy?