What Does The Bible Say About Happiness? I can do all things through him who strengthens me. What does the Bible say about Happiness? For a readable but longer treatment of how Christianity is pro-pleasure, see Owen Strachan and Douglas Sweeney. We worship things that are not God, who alone deserves worship. Of course, we won’t naturally give ourselves to unlimited morality. God came from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran. Because they are divine, they delight in one another. Believe in God; believe also in me. This is the God of the Bible. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. O Lord, I have heard the report of you, and your work, O Lord, do I fear. Let me push further: I believe that God—not Playboy or Kanye or Epicurus—made pleasure. Neither approach to life leaves us lastingly happy. This is part positive thinking, part personal therapy, and part moralism. Proverbs 17:22 A cheerful heart brings good healing, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil—this is the gift of God. Jesus did. Let him pray. And Haman went out that day joyful and glad of heart. ‣ In An Ideal Husband, Wilde’s character Lord Goring argues that “Pleasure is the only thing to live for. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. ‣ D Like a doctor badgering a patient to fill a prescription, many influential voices over the centuries have urged this attitude. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. He’s the super-intelligent being who first created it. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. And I wasn’t the only one who noticed McFerrin’s pop song.2 It became a cultural meme. In Hebrews 12:1–2, we find the source of both our happiness and our holiness: Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. I learned this stuff years ago, and the Christian dude I knew said that pleasure is bad, only holiness is good. K So I saw that there is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his work, for that is his lot. This also is vanity and a striving after wind. Well, dear thinker-in-italic-fonts, I’ve got news for you: I’m going the opposite way. We recognize that God has fashioned the world for his glory and our happiness. Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. ‣ ‣ Running till we outta time For a very helpful and inspiring discussion of Lewis’s longing for a better world (a longing which led him to Christian faith), see Alister McGrath. Leave a Reply Cancel reply. Faith in Christ is joy. Instead of pounding a decrepit fountain for pleasure, we dive into a crystal-clear stream of delight. He was crippled from birth and had never walked. Reply. First, it’s not only OK but right to seek after joy. As surely as God is faithful, our word to you has not been Yes and No. And there came out to him Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder. When an attempt was made by both Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to mistreat them and to stone them, they learned of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding country, and there they continued to preach the gospel. Isn't that the greatest goal in life? Click To Tweet Happiness … If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he uttered, ... Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them. While the Bible does talk about happiness, being happy is not the focus that is shared. “Remember that my life is a breath; my eye will never again see good. Proverbs 17:22. Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. True happiness is achieved by resting upon the Lord. The strongest factor in happiness at work is how happy you are away from work. So let’s live it up, with a special focus on sexual and bodily pleasure. Like we’re gonna die young. Humanity is hardwired to pursue happiness. 5. The Greek word in the New Testament is makarios. The Jews had light and gladness and joy and honor. Bobby McFerrin, This is a reference to George Orwell’s novel. Instead of worshipping the body, we worship God and God alone. Let’s make the most of the night OpenBible.info Most every one of us, however, searches for pervasive joy. The Bible provides us the comforting grace and love of the Lord, reminding us of His glory and mercy. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. ‣ Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. This is the twist: Happiness is not one or the other. M ... Whoever despises his neighbor is a sinner, but blessed is he who is generous to the poor. Proverbs 15:13 A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit. “When a man is newly married, he shall not go out with the army or be liable for any other public duty. The Bible answers this question directly. But when Haman saw Mordecai in the king's gate, that he neither rose nor trembled before him, he was filled with wrath against Mordecai. Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord! Q Wildchilds looking good ... My soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is; so I say, “My endurance has perished; so has my hope from the Lord.” Remember my affliction and my wanderings, the wormwood and the gall! He leads me beside still waters. WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES: Jesus identified the key to happiness when he said: “Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need.” (Matthew 5:3) True happiness can be found only if we take steps to fill our greatest need—our hunger for spiritual truth about God and his purpose for us. Here’s the mystery at the heart of biblical Christianity: You become happy through holiness. Let him sing praise. None of us knows what the Lord will lead us to do in this life. From this perspective, the reason we can’t genetically trace the cause of happiness is because it comes from higher origins. We’re always looking for it, whether we know we are or not. Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. So while you’re here in my arms, But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. Happy holiness—or holy happiness—is available through the cross. God wants you to be happy. The Greek philosophical camp known as the Epicureans, for example, advocated that pleasure is the highest good in life. You may be surprised! “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Rediscover your joy during the Christmas season and stay focused on what really counts. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. What does the Bible say aobut happiness in marriage and how we can have it today? A Deeper Look at What the Bible Says about Happiness, http://www.gutenberg.org/files/885/885-h/885-h.htm, http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/854/pg854.html, http://www.happiness-project.com/happiness_project/2007/11/its-friday-thin/. It destroys us. In the midst of the years revive it; in the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy. “I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches,” writes the psalmist.18 “Oh, how I love your law! Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? For an account of how all our lives can be driven by joy, see John Piper. By Hilman Rojak | November 25, 2016. Most do not. Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. T But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. ‣ ‣ I once worked delivering pizzas. In fact, because death is an established reality, one can even live in such a way as to potentially hasten its coming. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”. Filling in the gaps a bit, the essential worldview here is this: There’s much to chew on here—despite the breezy tone and pounding beat designed to help us zone out from our cares and zero in on our lusts. Those drawn to a celebrity’s lifestyle of uncontrolled excess need only look at the latest headline to see that the unrestrained pursuit of pleasure does not fulfill us. He makes me lie down in green pastures. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! Blessed is the one who fears the Lord always, but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity. You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. U If life were fair, then we would all be headed to hell and Jesus would not have had to die. I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.”. Unless otherwise indicated, all content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License. God placed His wrath on Jesus Who deserved no such punishment and the punishment that we truly deserved was withheld because of what Jesus did for us. Plus, we’re all going to die, and we may very well die young. What does the Bible say about happiness? “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Delivering pizzas wasn’t so bad. The gift of physical enjoyment and pleasure comes from him, not some leering studio executive. ‣ And the Rabshakeh said to them, “Say to Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: On what do you rest this trust of yours? From our own perspective, we are like the English writer C. S. Lewis, who would periodically feel a desire to go to a fictional land he called “True North,” a place better than any he knew.12 No one had told Lewis he should want to go there; he had an instinctive pull to this mysterious reservoir of pure delight and unfading happiness. Both words are also translated “blessed.” The person who feels blessed is happy. From men by your hand, O Lord, from men of the world whose portion is in this life. But what does that look like? These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. The way to become happy is presented simply in Scripture: obedience to God is pleasure. Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? ‣ In place of a generic pursuit of happiness above all things, we pursue Jesus Christ—and find impeachable joy in him. Let’s uncover the secret to being happy away from work. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. Psalms 37:4 - Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. This is not to say that everyone lives like a stereotypical rock star. I think pleasure, contrary to what you may have heard, is good. ‣ (One of the problems with money is trusting it for our future. The Bible talks about happiness, but defines it differently than our culture. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his place. Here’s what Rubin says about her daily, task-by-task pursuit of happiness: Some things that I’ve worked to stop doing—not that I’ve succeeded, but I’ve made some progress: gossiping, eating fake food (i.e., “food” that comes in crinkly packages from corner delis), nagging, drinking alcohol (I had to face the fact that drinking the tiniest bit of alcohol makes me incredibly belligerent), losing my temper, staying up too late, not flossing, not doing enough to help other people, leaving my clothes strewn around—well, the list goes on and on.11. These Bible verses about happiness will remind you that … Christ is the “pioneer and perfecter of our faith,” a phrase that means that his death and resurrection are our salvation. But, let’s go deeper than that. One need not command a world empire or write classic literature to serve as a spokesperson of hedonism. He is the cause of true happiness, and he is happiness itself. Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! This, we are told by many cultural leaders, is happiness. I built houses and planted vineyards for myself. We want and need something greater, something pure, a force that simultaneously ruins us and restores us. Before him went pestilence, and plague followed at his heels. We don’t have to be told to seek joy and pleasure. I am a child of God and my faith means a lot to me. Why are so many of us a strange mix of these two instincts? Ecclesiastes 3:12 - I know that [there is] no good in them, but for [a man] to rejoice, and to do good in his life. So here is the astounding news: God calls us to be holy, blesses us with happiness through holiness, and gives us all the strength we need to be holy. In fact, His most famous sermon, and most likely one of His first, the sermon on the mount, begins with a primer on happiness. We worship things that are not God, who alone deserves worship. Whether we seek this feeling through the pounding bass of a 100,000-person dance party, a romantic relationship, a good book, or community service, we must not forget this: We are all pursuing the same thing. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. . Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. Biblical Marriage Quotes. To proclaim the year of the Lord's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity. (It suggests that money by itself brings trouble. If your pursuit of happiness doesn’t resemble the pursuit of Christ, then all your work is for the birds. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. ‣ The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; ... You desire and do not have, so you murder. You adulterous people! Faith in Christ is joy. The pursuit of hedonism, with considerable attention devoted to the lusts of the body, is certainly one of the most common ways of life known to humanity. My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”. Randy Alcorn spoke at his home church, Good Shepherd Community Church, on the topic of happiness. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law. It’s both. H Literally some of this stuff is the stuff I remind myself of every single day. What’s making you ‘feel bad’?”. Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. I said of laughter, “It is mad,” and of pleasure, “What use is it?” I searched with my heart how to cheer my body with wine—my heart still guiding me with wisdom—and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the children of man to do under heaven during the few days of their life. That is by enjoying God and living for Him. Aug 12, 2019 - Are you still searching for that happily ever after ending in marriage? Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways! His splendor covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. He created us! Even within the West today, there is a movement toward a quieter, simpler way of life. Quite a lot it turns out. Even in laughter the heart may ache, and the end of joy may be grief. Discover your next steps toward a relationship with God. But they must also be God-directed and God-ordered. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. Why didn’t Ke$ha—and countless other artists—write a song connecting her mortality to, say, reading a great work of fiction by a quiet stream in a wooded glen? But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. It’s as if all our lives we’ve been drinking from a rusty fountain on a hot summer day. And, let’s take a look at what the Bible teaches about happiness at work. In “Die Young,” no higher authority exists or rules over human existence. What does the Bible say about Sadness? We sometimes try to improve ourselves and help others, and that feels good (until we get bored and want to play). R You shall be hidden from the lash of the tongue, and shall not fear destruction when it comes. 9. A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, according to Shigionoth. The state of the world was not always as it is now. Take my hand, I’ll show you the wild side For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf and has made known to us your love in the Spirit. Rubin’s version of the pleasant life is altogether different than Ke$ha’s. Living according to his wisdom is what brings us delight. You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. With all this said, we must know that in following the Lord in faith, we are not signing up for an easy or pain-free life. Required fields are marked * Comment. The words for “bless” and “blessed” in both the Old and New Testaments illustrate why this is true. For a critique of this worldview as expressed in academic terms, see James Sire, Gretchen Rubin, “It’s Friday: think about YOUR Happiness Project. But Christians’ trust in the Lord can help them to have joy even in difficult times. We sometimes gratify our lusts, and that feels good (for a time). May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, ... “Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Gretchen Rubin’s book The Happiness Project seeks, essentially, to help us embrace a quieter, more authentic life. You find these pursuits in different names, but many of us are drawn either to the gratification of our lusts or the moralistic repression of those lusts. ‣ Quotes. Unhappy at Work. On a Sabbath, while he was going through the grainfields, his disciples plucked and ate some heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands. ‣ "The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit" (Psalm 34:18). Why connect dying young to sexual and bodily gratification? E Have no fear of them, nor be troubled. Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Both of these approaches to happiness will no doubt feel good at certain times. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! Jesus’ hunger for joy led him not to an air-conditioned throne but to a bloody cross. Also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God's gift to man. The Roman emperor Domitian, for example, hung a painting that personified death in his home to remind guests of the need to live pleasurably while there was still time.5. The ability to change our habits and become holistically healthier stems from the wisdom of the Almighty God, not a self-improvement program that we will almost surely abandon at some point. But we also feel this odd, hard-to-explain pull toward morality, justice, and even love to others. This is God and God alone. And the king of Assyria sent the Rabshakeh from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem, with a great army. Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like streams in the Negeb! Labs Nevertheless, Haman restrained himself and went home, and he sent and brought his friends and his wife Zeresh. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”, But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”. For Christians, happiness is not meant to be what they seek after in life. We weren’t each sat down in an Orwellian Happiness Education Center at the age of two or three and made to watch videos dogmatically instructing us to get happy as soon as possible. It wasn’t only the song’s style but its content that listeners connected to. That’s why he went to the cross. We go looking for happiness and find not the transcendent God who made us and rules us, but ourselves. Topical Bible Explore. V And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Not as the world gives do I give to you. God doesn’t want us shivering in the corner, frightened but obedient. What does the Bible say aobut happiness in marriage and how we can have it today? 34 Bible Verses About Happiness (and what they mean for you) God wants us to be happy. Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! 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