Biblical Keys to Happiness

by COGwriter

Do you want to be happy?

Most people do.

Is it possible to be happy in this world?

Most people aren't happy, because they don't know what real happiness according to the Bible is.

Most people feel happiness comes from pleasing the self, either through physical comforts such as food, shelter, various sensations, and material possessions or through psychological rewards such as being accepted and appreciated.

Failing to find happiness through these channels, increasing numbers are turning to alcohol, drugs or other forms of escapism to titillate the senses and provide temporary releases from unhappiness and futility.

But joy that comes from physical pleasure is only temporary, and isn't real happiness at all! (Steep C. Happiness Is - Good News, October 1980--many parts of that article are also used or paraphrased in this article)

There are many biblical keys to happiness. This article will bring up at least 15 of them.

Jesus Christ, in some of His last instructions to His followers before His death, revealed how we can be truly happy:

10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love.

11 "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. (John 15:10-11, NKJV throughout, unless otherwise noted)

God wants your joy to be full. To be full of real happiness! And He explains that the only way you can be that way is through obeying Him, so that you can have His own joy inside you. Real joy, the kind that permeates God's way of life, comes only from God:

11 You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11)

God gives us this joy in measure as we submit to and start practicing His way and begin to bear the fruits of His mind in our lives (Galatians 5:22). From the moment we truly turn to God, our happiness should be something that constantly deepens and grows.

When I was a child, I remember a commercial that tried to say what happiness is.

It listed different material items for different types of people.

Here is a partially list: of what "happiness is":

The ad essentially concluded with, "To A Smoker, It's a Kent...that's what happiness is."

No, happiness is not collecting rent money nor smoking a Kent cigarette. Actually, people should not smoke cigarettes. Not only does doing so not bring true happiness, it causes harm to the smoker and that around the smoker (see also Should Christians Smoke Tobacco or Marijuana?).

The fact that smokers find it pleasurable, does not mean that they should do it.

Notice something that the New Testament teaches about Moses:

24 By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, 25 choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, 26 esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward. (Hebrews 11:24-26)

Christians have a greater reward than harmful temporal pleasures can bring. Sin does not bring real happiness, but pain and sorrow.

Various forms of sin are shameful.

21 What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:21-23)

The opportunity of eternal life is something to be happy about.

A related sermon is available and is titled:Happiness: 15 Biblical Keys.

True Happiness

The old Worldwide Church of God published the following:

The only happiness the average person ever knows consists of whatever brief periods of momentary satisfaction he or she manages to seize during a lifetime. Most of that lifetime is a thankless struggle to cope with anxiety, emptiness, boredom, despair, financial problems, health problems and personal problems. Now and then a precious happy moment comes along. But it is soon gone. And then the wearisome pursuit of happiness continues once more. (Steep C. Happiness Is - Good News, October 1980)

There is a kind of happiness that comes from pleasant, often unexpected, happenings in life. This is the type of happiness that advertisements tend to promote. For example, one not so subtle message from some automobile advertisements is if you are a man who buys a particular type of car, women will supposedly find you more attractive and their attention will create happiness.

Of course, those who are possibly interested in someone because of the type of automobile one may drive would not seem to be an ideal partner who would actually love you.

This is not the way God wants it to be.

God wants us to be able to "Rejoice always" (1 Thessalonians 5:16).

He wants us to have rich, full, abundant lives. Jesus said:

10 I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10b).

Jesus Christ came to earth about 2,000 years ago to announce the future Kingdom of God and to die for our sins. But He also came to show humankind how to live life to the full. He also showed that by not violating God's commands (Hebrews 4:15).

Jesus wants everyone to follow the way that leads to happiness, abundance and eternal life!

The Apostle John wrote:

2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3 John 2)

Misery is not what God wants to have.

The happiness that God has, that which He offers to us, was meant to be with us constantly. It was meant to become a permanent part of us -- of our personality and character.

We all want to enjoy life. Our Creator is concerned about how we do it.

Notice the following instruction from God to young men:

9 Rejoice, O young man, in your youth,
And let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth;
Walk in the ways of your heart,
And in the sight of your eyes;
But know that for all these
God will bring you into judgment.
10 Therefore remove sorrow from your heart,
And put away evil from your flesh,
For childhood and youth are vanity. (Ecclesiastes 11:9-10)

Girls and boys and men and women should strive to live God's way:

1 Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth,
Before the difficult days come,
And the years draw near when you say,
"I have no pleasure in them": (Ecclesiastes 12:1)

Besides acknowledging that God exists, remembering Him also means being thankful to Him for your existence, for your parents, for His plan, and for the material things you enjoy.

Of course, material possessions are not the source of happiness.

Consider also the following from the Apostle John:

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world -- the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life -- is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:15-17)

The world often pushes the lust of possessions and activities that the Bible denounces. Satan did appealed to lusts of the flesh with Eve:

4 Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.

8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. (Genesis 3:4-8)

Taking that fruit certainly did not make Eve happy. But she apparently thought it would. Those who listen to Satan's worldly messages will not truly be happy.

Now, let's look at one more quote from Ecclesiastes:

13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man's all. (Ecclesiastes 12:13)

13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. (Ecclesiastes 12:13, KJV)

True happiness is a basic state of mind that comes from a sense of well-being, contentment, and inner peace.

Not from what you own.

Jesus taught about possessions:

15 And He said to them, "Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses."

16 Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: "The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. 17 And he thought within himself, saying, 'What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?' 18 So he said, 'I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry."' 20 But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?'

21 "So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God." (Luke 12:15-21)

So, we should not look to things for happiness.

Beware of Self-Deception

The Atlantic posted the following:

Quit Lying to Yourself

November 18, 2021

No one wants to be seen as a liar. Liars are considered untrustworthy at best and immoral at worst. And yet, we are perfectly content to lie to ourselves all the time. “I’ll enjoy this sleeve of Oreos today because my diet starts tomorrow,” I might tell myself. Or, “I love my job; who cares that I complain about it constantly?” Or even—ironically—“I am always honest with myself.”

Deceiving yourself shouldn’t make logical sense. After all, lying involves telling someone something you know to be untrue. When you are both the liar and one lied to, this means you have to both know the truth and not know the truth. In practice, that means willfully disregarding key knowledge to arrive at a conclusion that is more convenient than what the facts appear to suggest.

Everyone self-deceives, but that doesn’t make it harmless. At high levels, it is associated with poor mental health. At moderate levels, it can temporarily protect the self-deceiver from bad feelings but still presents a barrier to the deep well-being that comes from living with integrity. To be really happy, we must learn to be completely honest with ourselves. …

If you are willfully oblivious to your flaws, you can’t correct them.

Related to that last statement, consider the following scriptures:

8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. (1 John 1:8-10)

Repentance is needed so we can believe, live, and understand the truth.--you will not be truly happy if you are often lying to yourse;f.

Jesus warned that most Christians in the end times would be deceived:

14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,

‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’ — and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked — 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. (Revelation 3:14-19)

Although most Laodiceans do not believe that they are deceiving themselves, Jesus said that they are. Jesus said that Laodicean Christians need to repent–they need to change.

In addition to doctrine and how they lead their lives, there are serious prophetic deceptions that the Laodiceans have fallen for. A list of 38 prophetic deceptions that various Laodiceans (and those of Sardis) believe is in the article The Laodicean Church Era. Believing several of these will ensure that Laodiceans will not realize that the Great Tribulation is here until it is to late for most to flee (cf. Revelation 12:14-17).

Self-deception is common. Try not to fall for it. The word of God is truth (John 17:17), hopefully you will believe it enough so that you will resist Satanically-encouraged self-deception (cf. James 4:7).

The Bible Talks About Being Happy

Do you know who the Bible says is happy?

God's people:

5 Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help,
Whose hope is in the Lord his God,
6 Who made heaven and earth,
The sea, and all that is in them;
Who keeps truth forever,
7 Who executes justice for the oppressed,
Who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord gives freedom to the prisoners. (Psalm 146:5-7)

15 Happy are the people who are in such a state;
Happy are the people whose God is the Lord! (Psalm 144:15)

Do you have the God of Jacob (whose name God changed to Israel in Genesis 32:28) for your help? Is the God of the Bible your Lord?

If you really do, you should be happy.

You may be surprised about some of the specifics the Bible equates with being happy.

Many think money is what makes one happy, but the Bible teaches something else:

16 How much better to get wisdom than gold!
And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.

17 The highway of the upright is to depart from evil;
He who keeps his way preserves his soul.

18 Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before a fall.
19 Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly,
Than to divide the spoil with the proud.

20 He who heeds the word wisely will find good,
And whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he. (Proverbs 16:16-20)

Those who trust in the Lord and keep His commands are the ones that are really happy.

1 My son, do not forget my law,
But let your heart keep my commands;
2 For length of days and long life
And peace they will add to you.

3 Let not mercy and truth forsake you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart,
4 And so find favor and high esteem
In the sight of God and man.

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and depart from evil.
8 It will be health to your flesh,
And strength to your bones.

9 Honor the Lord with your possessions,
And with the firstfruits of all your increase;
10 So your barns will be filled with plenty,
And your vats will overflow with new wine.

11 My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,
Nor detest His correction;
12 For whom the Lord loves He corrects,
Just as a father the son in whom he delights.

13 Happy is the man who finds wisdom,
And the man who gains understanding;
14 For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver,
And her gain than fine gold.
15 She is more precious than rubies,
And all the things you may desire cannot compare with her.
16 Length of days is in her right hand,
In her left hand riches and honor.
17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
And all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her,
And happy are all who retain her. (Proverbs 3:1-18)

God's commands show how to live, rest, and worship God in truth--that should make you happy. Plus the assurances that if you do it God's way, He will take care of you.

Those who find true wisdom and trust God will be happy and they will gain understanding.

3 You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.
4 Trust in the Lord forever,
For in Yah, the Lord, is everlasting strength. (Isaiah 26:3-4)

Truly trusting God brings peace and real happiness.

1 Praise the Lord!

Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, Who delights greatly in His commandments. (Psalm 112:1)

True followers of God will delight in His commandments. That is a key to happiness that most people do not possess.

3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. (1 John 5:3)

God's commandments are not burdensome.

If people everywhere obeyed God's laws, there would be no war, no unhappy families, no divorce, crime, violence or stealing. People would be honest and concerned for one another's welfare and property.

Consider also that the Apostle Paul wrote, "the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good" (Romans 7:12).

We are to delight in God's ways:

3 Trust in the Lord, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.

4 Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

5 Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass. (Psalm 37:3-5)

11 Come, you children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 Who is the man who desires life,
And loves many days, that he may see good?
13 Keep your tongue from evil,
And your lips from speaking deceit.
14 Depart from evil and do good;
Seek peace and pursue it. (Psalm 34:11-14)

DELIGHT IN THE LORD and He will give you the proper desires of your heart.

Knowing and obeying God brings inner peace. Clayton Steep once wrote:

Without inner peace there is no happiness. Worries and fears increasingly plague people today. Many are driven to seek relief through alcohol, drugs or suicide. Mental turmoil anxious days, sleepless nights wear a person down, causing him to get old before his time, producing indigestion, ulcers and a whole host of psychosomatic diseases -- perhaps even cancer. There is no need to bear such burdens. We have a God we can trust. We can take all our problems to Him. He has never failed. (Steep C. Happiness Is - Good News, October 1980)

Many are depressed and feel hopeless these days. Part of the reason is that most have no real confidence in the Creator God, but instead in unbelieving people:

26 In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence,
And His children will have a place of refuge.
27 The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life,
To turn one away from the snares of death. (Proverbs 14:26-27)

19 Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble Is like a bad tooth and a foot out of joint. (Proverbs 25:19)

Confidence in unfaithful government leaders is one reason many are in the depths of depression a lot these days.

How did the apostle Paul describe the time in which we are now living?

1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (2 Timothy 3:1-8)

The conditions in today's dangerous, lawless and pleasure-seeking society were predicted more than 1,900 years ago. We are constantly reminded of the slums, decay, disease, sorrow, anguish, wars, rumors of war, and crime in the world today. People of all ages, especially in the Western world, seek temporary, fleeting thrills that do not result in lasting happiness. Millions end up suffering from the harmful effects of tobacco, alcohol, sexually-transmitted diseases, and drugs.

Today, we see governments and individuals alike burdened with problems. They are groping around like so many blind men, desperately grasping for guidance.

God's Word -- the Bible -- contains the answers. As David expressed it:

105 Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)

That is what the world needs today!

Nevertheless, the world has rejected the light it needs so badly (John 3:19-20).

Hence, it has caused the mess it is in.

But everyone who will love the light and who will live in harmony with God's Word will be blessed. God's laws are light. Obedience to them brings blessings -- spiritually, mentally, physically and materially. And that makes for happiness.

"Blessed are those ... who walk in the law of the Lord" (Psalm 119:1, RSV). Obedience brings great peace of mind (verse 165). It prepares one to receive eternal life (cf. Matthew 19:17). And that's happiness too!

God's laws are a delight to His people (Psalm 1:2). They exist for our good:

12 "And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to keep the commandments of the Lord and His statutes which I command you today for your good? (Deuteronomy 10:12-14)

8 The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; (Psalm 19:8)

Notice also something from the Old and New Testaments:

10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. (Psalm 111:10)

14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. (Revelation 22:14)

Those that are blessed and happy do what God commands.

But hypocrites do not have such happiness:

22 Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. 23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin. (Romans 14:22-23)

Live by faith. Obey God. Do not be a hypocrite. Hypocrites are not happy. Furthermore, "the hope of the hypocrite shall perish" (Job 8:13).

Those who live God's ways have faith and real hope:

166 Lord, I hope for Your salvation, And I do Your commandments. (Psalm 119:166)

1 Justified therefore by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus, the Christ, 2 by whom we also have access by faith into this grace in which we stand and glory in hope of the glory of the sons of God. 3 And not only this, but we even glory in the tribulations, knowing that the tribulation works patience; 4 and patience, experience; and experience, hope; 5 and the hope shall not be ashamed, because the love of God is poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us. (Romans 5:1-5, Jubilee Bible 2000)

13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.

15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

The Christian hope grants peace that should comfort you and make you happy. We are not to be hopeless like the world. They are either hopeless or hope in things that are not true.


While the Bible does not endorse trying to cause oneself pain, Christians are to accept chastisement from God.

17 "Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects; Therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty. (Job 5:17)

Being chastised does not feel good, but Christians should expect it:

3 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. 4 You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. 5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:

"My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,
Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
6 For whom the Lord loves He chastens,
And scourges every son whom He receives."

7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:3-11)

Try to learn from your tests, trials, and suffering.

Some, however, do not wish to acknowledge their sons nor punishment:

13 He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.

14 Happy is the man who is always reverent, But he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity. (Proverbs 28:13-14)

If you want to be happy, do not harden your heart. Accept God's correction.

28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, 5 for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; (Philippians 1:3-6)

Since the promise is that all things work together for good and God will finish what He starts with us, there is nothing left to worry about, is there? Talk about freedom! Talk about peace of mind!

Therefore, be confident! Notice also the following:

3 Though an army may encamp against me,
My heart shall not fear;
Though war may rise against me,
In this I will be confident. (Psalms 27:3)

17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles. (Psalm 34:17)

Consider also the following

17 Correct your son, and he will give you rest; Yes, he will give delight to your soul. (Proverbs 29:17)

We see that correcting a child will give rest and ultimately delight.

Some may ask, "If God wants us happy, then why does He allow things to happen to us?"

Consider the following:

2 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5 For each one shall bear his own load. (Galatians 6:2-5)

31 For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world. (1 Corinthians 11:31-32)

It's easy to judge (and misjudge) others as well as misjudge ourselves. Jesus warned about that:

37 "Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. (Luke 6:37)

24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment. (John 7:24)

People tend to condemn various actions and attitudes of others while excusing or overlooking the same or similar issues that they themselves have.

Of course, many think that they are fine as they are--and they often trust flawed judgments of others. They do not examine themselves and do not see the value in what is happening to them.

Many misunderstand the purpose of trials:

12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people's matters. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.

17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 Now

"If the righteous one is scarcely saved,
Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?"

19 Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator. (1 Peter 4:12-19)

We who truly believe should not wallow in pity about things that seem to be unfair.

Christians can make it:

13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Why else? Notice another reason that the Paul wrote:

13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

Those who believe that should be happy:

12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. (James 1:12)

The Greek word translated as "Blessed" (Makários) above and mainly through the New Testament means happy.

God promises to make Philadelphian Christians pillars:

11 ... Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. 12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, (Revelation 3:11-12)

Pillars are not easily shaken.

Even when there are problems. Notice something that the Apostle Paul wrote:

2:17 But we, brethren, having been taken away from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavored more eagerly to see your face with great desire. 18 Therefore we wanted to come to you — even I, Paul, time and again — but Satan hindered us. (1 Thessalonians 2:17-18)

3:3 ... no one should be shaken by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we are appointed to this. 4 For, in fact, we told you before when we were with you that we would suffer tribulation, just as it happened, and you know. 5 For this reason, when I could no longer endure it, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter had tempted you, and our labor might be in vain. (1 Thessalonians 3:3-5)

See that ministerial problems were prophesied, but that Christians were not to allow that to turn them off. Yet, with the falling away and other issues in the old WCG, many have departed from the faith, and others were shaken away from the ministry and/or proper church governance. Many did let some one take their crown (Revelation 3:11; see also Independent Members of the COG: Herbert W. Armstrong Comments, Plus Questions and Answers).

Consider also that the Apostle Paul wrote:

4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

Do you believe? Really? People are to give--that is basically what love is all about.

Why do some people live happy and productive lives while others suffer frustration and sorrow?

7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. (Galatians 6:7-10)

You will reap what you sow. There is a cause for every effect! Decisions you make today can lead to success and happiness, or to frustration and heartache in the years to come.

Now that does not mean that there will not be tests and trials, but God's people are to have faith. Consider:

35 Women received their dead raised to life again.

Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. 36 Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented — 38 of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth. (Hebrews 11:35-38)

Part of the reason that the world is not worthy is that true Christians do not live like the world and face troubles and trials that the world causes. But we have faith that things will be better (Romans 8:28).

Notice what happened with the Apostle Paul:

1 Then Agrippa said to Paul, "You are permitted to speak for yourself."

So Paul stretched out his hand and answered for himself: 2 "I think myself happy, King Agrippa, because today I shall answer for myself before you concerning all the things of which I am accused by the Jews, 3 especially because you are expert in all customs and questions which have to do with the Jews. Therefore I beg you to hear me patiently. (Acts 26:1-3)

Remember, he was just a human being too. He was happy, despite being under arrest.

Have the Right Vision

The Bible teaches:

18 Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law. (Proverbs 29:18, NKJV)

18 Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. (Proverbs 29:18, KJV)

We also see that those who keep God's law and look to the prophetic future are happy.

The old Worldwide Church of God taught:

Look to the future

To be happy, we must look to the future. We have to keep our minds on the goal of character development and the end result of God's plan for us. God allows us to face occasional physical adversities to help us grow.

By concentrating on the big picture, we can faithfully and cheerfully endure difficulties that would be grievous if we didn't have this perspective (I Pet. 1:7-8, Jas. 1:2-4).

The apostle Paul was a man" who rejoiced even in severe trials. Through terrible persecutions, beatings, imprisonments, shipwrecks, health problems and other personal trials in performing God's great commission, he was happy even though he suffered physically.

Why? Because Paul was spiritually oriented. Physically, he was depleted, but he was exceedingly happy because he saw the fruit of what God was doing with him (II Cor. 6:10).

Furthermore, Paul worked to help others experience joy (II Cor. 1:24), showing that Christians must control their thinking and develop positive, uplifting attitudes (Phil. 4:8).

Paul also warned against the folly of seeking escape through such means as excessive drinking. These means do not produce happiness. Rather, we should be filled with the Holy Spirit through meditating on God's plan and being thankful (Eph. 5:18-20). With the help of God's power, Paul was able to be happy in any circumstance. (Steep C. Happiness Is - Good News, October 1980)

This is something that the world does not understand (see also The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast).

Various ones are depressed.

The world also does not have the right vision of the future--they do not seek first nor understand the Kingdom of God. They have the wrong priorities:

28 "So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

31 "Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:28-34; see also Luke 12:22-31)

We know God's plan--that should make up happy!

Worrying does not bring happiness. Christians, while they should take appropriate steps about their lives, should not worry. Problems are to be taken one day at a time.

Do not allow Satan and his allies to discourage you that you cannot continue. Yes, you can.

Complaining also does not make one happy. Consider also the following:

1 Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, 2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. 5 But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.

6 Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. 7 And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play." 8 Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; 9 nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; 10 nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. (1 Corinthians 10:1-13)

14 Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain. (Philippians 2:14-16)

Have faith in God. It isn't that there are not times for valid criticism, but be careful about complaining. It will not make you happy. Be a thankful Christian.

What Makes God Happy?

Do you know what makes God happy?


God's whole plan revolves around the principle of giving instead of getting.

In the beginning God made the Earth and gave humans dominion over it (Genesis 1:26). In the beginning God established the laws by which He lives. His government produces a way of life so perfect and so good that God's greatest desire is to share that way of life. He created us because He wants to give us the opportunity to live as He lives, to be in His Family.

So desirous is He for us to be in His Kingdom that He has given that which was of most value to him -- the life of Jesus Christ. Why?:

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. (John 3:16-17)

In order to make it possible for Him to give us eternal life, yes, but more -- that He might be able to give us everything:

32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? (Romans 8:32)

All things -- let your mind dwell on that for a moment!

Yes, God gets His' pleasure -- His thrills -- from giving to us. Jesus said:

32 "Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:32)

Jesus also said And to enter into the Kingdom is to enter "into the joy of thy Lord" (Matthew 25:21 23).

God is the giving God. He is happy because "It is more happy [the Greek word makarios means "happy"] to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35).

Or as the NKJV renders it traditionally:

35 And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" (Acts 20:35)

God wants us to be givers. We should live the way of give (see also The Two Trees: Only Two Ways of Life and/or watch Cause and Effect: Two Trees, Two Ways).

Not that it is wrong to receive. But receiving for the self should not be our motivation. An unbreakable law is in motion. If a person seeks to give, he will receive automatically. However, if a person seeks only to receive, to get for him/herself, he/she will wind up losing everything. Solomon wrote about this law, "One man gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want" (Proverbs 11:24, Revised Standard Version).

1 He who despises his neighbor sins; But he who has mercy on the poor, happy is he. (Proverbs 14:21)

This does NOT mean that you have to give money everyone who is a beggar--we do not want to enable sin (many bear false witness, while others will not work as they should). But merciful givers are happy.

"Give, and it shall be given unto you," said Jesus (Luke 6:38). It is extremely important for us to learn this essential key to happiness. That is why in the Christian life there are so many opportunities to give. A Christian is expected to give of him/herself in unselfish service to others. A real Christian is expected to give of his/her prayers, encouragement and financial support to the Work of God -- a Work engaged in giving information about what God wants to give to mankind.

6 But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:6-7)

God Himself is a cheerful giver.

Unity in Christian Fellowship

Giving is not just financial:

24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24-25)

We are closer to the "Day approaching" (of Jesus' return) than those in New Testament times were. Those who cannot make it to weekly Sabbath services should strive to see if it is at least possible to meet with other brethren on the Holy Days, like the Feast of Tabernacles.

Consider also:

Harmony among Christians

   One more aspect that brought those early Church members so much happiness was their unity. As they "continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship," they were unified with "gladness and singleness of heart" (Acts 2:42, 46, AV). They all shared the same leadership, spirit and way of life. God's purpose was more important to them than anything else.
   They realized their responsibility was to back God's chosen apostles in spreading the Gospel message, and they were unified through God's government in the Church (Eph. 4:4, 11-16). This unity produced tremendous love and concern. Each member rejoiced as he saw fellow members experience blessings (I Cor. 12:26). In this way, one person's happiness multiplied to be shared by all.
   As we today put aside any tendency we may have toward being independent or set apart from the work God is doing through His Church, we can experience more of the happiness He intends through togetherness. "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!" (Ps. 133:1). Expressing love brings much happiness to the giver. ...
   Another joy these vibrant Christians experienced came from the prevalent attitude of repentance. Real repentance — total surrender to do God's will — is where real joy begins. Great joy also comes as we continue to repent when God corrects us (II Cor. 7:9-10), and our loving God will correct us when we need it. This chastisement isn't enjoyable at first, but a repentant response will be (Heb. 12:11).
   This kind of happiness can never come from satisfying our physical desires or going our own way. The happiness produced by a submissive and obedient attitude comes only from God. Nothing we do can make us or God really happy unless we have this attitude (Ps. 51:16-17, Isa. 66:2). (Steep C. Happiness Is - Good News, October 1980)

Yes, it is good and pleasant to have true Christian unity and to support the work of God in the end times.

God's Holy Days give an opportunity for that unity:

22 “You shall truly tithe all the increase of your grain that the field produces year by year. 23 And you shall eat before the Lord your God, in the place where He chooses to make His name abide, the tithe of your grain and your new wine and your oil, of the firstborn of your herds and your flocks, that you may learn to fear the Lord your God always. 24 But if the journey is too long for you, so that you are not able to carry the tithe, or if the place where the Lord your God chooses to put His name is too far from you, when the Lord your God has blessed you, 25 then you shall exchange it for money, take the money in your hand, and go to the place which the Lord your God chooses. 26 And you shall spend that money for whatever your heart desires: for oxen or sheep, for wine or similar drink, for whatever your heart desires; you shall eat there before the Lord your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your household. 27 You shall not forsake the Levite who is within your gates, for he has no part nor inheritance with you. (Deuteronomy 14:22-27)

9 “You shall count seven weeks for yourself; begin to count the seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the grain. 10 Then you shall keep the Feast of Weeks to the Lord your God with the tribute of a freewill offering from your hand, which you shall give as the Lord your God blesses you. 11 You shall rejoice before the Lord your God, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant, the Levite who is within your gates, the stranger and the fatherless and the widow who are among you, at the place where the Lord your God chooses to make His name abide. (Deuteronomy 16:9-11)

13 “You shall observe the Feast of Tabernacles seven days, when you have gathered from your threshing floor and from your winepress. 14 And you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant and the Levite, the stranger and the fatherless and the widow, who are within your gates. 15 Seven days you shall keep a sacred feast to the Lord your God in the place which the Lord chooses, because the Lord your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you surely rejoice. (Deuteronomy 16:13-15)

We are to rejoice at God's festivals (for more about them, check out the free online booklet: Should You Observe God's Holy Days or Demonic Holidays?).

Notice the following:

10 “Then you shall set it before the Lord your God, and worship before the Lord your God. 11 So you shall rejoice in every good thing which the Lord your God has given to you and your house, you and the Levite and the stranger who is among you. (Deuteronomy 26:10-11)

Rejoicing should help bring happiness.


As great as God's desire is to give us His manifold blessings, He cannot do so as long as our sins stand in the way.

Most people do not really feel guilty, of anything because they don't realize they are guilty. Nevertheless they are. We all are or have been. "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). And sin cuts us off from God and His Spirit.

Only when a person deeply understands this truth can he appreciate what a relief it is to be forgiven. "Blessed [and therefore happy] is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered" (Psalm 32:1).

Through Christ's sacrifice our sins and iniquities are forgiven, never to be remembered again (Hebrews 8:12). We are reconciled to God. That makes for happiness.

8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. (Romans 5:8-11)

NOTHING can compare to the power of God. True Christians are no longer enemies of God, but are reconciled to God. That should make you happy.

37 Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you." (Luke 6:37-38)

Forgive. Bitter people do not do that. Happy people do.

23 For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.” (Acts 8:23)

31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. (Ephesians 4:31)

14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: 15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; (Hebrews 12:14-15)

Put away malaice. Pursue peace. Forgive.

The Bible Also Has Instruction for Newlyweds and Family Comments

Do you have control over whether you are happy? You can!

The Bible does have comments related to having a happy family.

The Bible has the following instruction for the newly married:

5 "When a man has taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war or be charged with any business; he shall be free at home one year, and bring happiness to his wife whom he has taken. (Deuteronomy 24:5)

So, this passage is showing that a husband should try to make his wife happy. And the implication is that both parties needed to take steps that the husband would not be apart from his wife the first year. Hence the husband should not be off pursuing some scheme nor should the wife push him to do so.

In my case, after getting engaged and before I got married, I had an opportunity to interview for a traveling auditor job. The pay was significantly more than I was making at the time. However, because of the admonition in Deuteronomy 24:5, I declined even interviewing for the job. Now, I do NOT believe that Deuteronomy 24:5 means that one cannot work, but that the husband is not to be gone away overnight during the first year of marriage because of business or military reasons.

That being said, wives and husbands need to realize that happiness is more than something that one of them brings. Both should work together to try to have a happy marriage.

9 Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life which He has given you under the sun, all your days of vanity; for that is your portion in life, and in the labor which you perform under the sun.

10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going. (Ecclesiastes 9:9-10)

Live joyfully with your spouse (if you have one) and work with all your might. (For those interested in marriage, we also have a free online booklet: Dating: A Key to Success in Marriage, a practical dating guide for Christians.)

The Bible warns that a bad marriage can be miserable:

9 Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, Than in a house shared with a contentious woman. (Proverbs 21:9)

Marriage is not always easy, but it helps picture a divine relationship. An article that may be of assistance is Making Your Marriage Work (here is a link to a related video sermon: You Can Make YOUR Marriage Work).

Family relationships can affect your physical happiness:

1 Unless the Lord builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the Lord guards the city,
The watchman stays awake in vain.
2 It is vain for you to rise up early,
To sit up late,
To eat the bread of sorrows;
For so He gives His beloved sleep. (Psalm 127:1-2)

3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one's youth.
5 Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them;
They shall not be ashamed,
But shall speak with their enemies in the gate. (Psalm 127:3-5)

1 Blessed is every one who fears the Lord,
Who walks in His ways.

2 When you eat the labor of your hands,
You shall be happy, and it shall be well with you.
3 Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
In the very heart of your house,
Your children like olive plants
All around your table.
4 Behold, thus shall the man be blessed
Who fears the Lord. (Psalm 128:1-4)

1 The proverbs of Solomon:

A wise son makes a glad father,
But a foolish son is the grief of his mother. (Proverbs 10:1)

20 A wise son makes a father glad,
But a foolish man despises his mother. (Proverbs 15:20)

21 He who begets a scoffer does so to his sorrow,
And the father of a fool has no joy. (Proverbs 17:21)

25 A foolish son is a grief to his father,
And bitterness to her who bore him. (Proverbs 17:25)

13 A foolish son is the ruin of his father,
And the contentions of a wife are a continual dripping.

14 Houses and riches are an inheritance from fathers,
But a prudent wife is from the Lord. (Proverbs 19:13-14)

6 Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)

3 Whoever loves wisdom makes his father rejoice,
But a companion of harlots wastes his wealth. (Proverbs 29:3)

15 The rod and rebuke give wisdom,
But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother. (Proverbs 29:15)

10 Who can find a virtuous wife?
For her worth is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her;
So he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life. (Proverbs 31:10-12)

And from the New Testament:

19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them.

20 Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.

21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. (Colossians 3:19-21)

1 But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: 2 that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; 3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things — 4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.

6 Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded, 7 in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, (Titus 2:1-7)

If husbands will strive to love their wives, and wives their husbands, they can have a happy life. Properly teaching children also contributes to a physically happy family life (see also Five Rules for Effective Parenting and/or watch a BNP video also titled Five Rules for Effective Parenting).

The comment to young men, among other things, is telling them to do works and not to be corrupted by the lusts of society.

Teenagers should consider that your teen years should be a learning time as well as a time to enjoy yourself, and to begin to plant the seeds of happiness. These are the years when choices can be especially critical to future success or failure. Obeying the God, working to make yourself the type of spouse you should be, and marrying one that God would want you to, will go a long way towards real happiness.

If you will attempt to have your spouse and raise your family God's way, this can contribute to happiness in this life.

As far as children go, notice the following prophecy related to the Kingdom of God:

5 The streets of the city
Shall be full of boys and girls
Playing in its streets. (Zechariah 8:5)

Yes, children should be allowed to play and have proper fun. And yes, the Kingdom of God will be fun for children.

Being Thankful

One of the greatest keys to happiness is being thankful.

Why, because God needs our praise?


God is NOT some vain being that needs our praise--nor is it His plan that we simply gaze at His majesty and praise His glory throughout eternity. The Greco-Roman-Protestant view of the 'beatific vision' is false (see also The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN: Why Did God Create Anything? Why Did God Make You?).

We start off each day with a bonus--life--because, let's face it, nobody owes us life! So, just for that we should be grateful.

Giving God thankful praise is based on the truth that God has given and we should appreciate what was given.

But of even more value than life is knowing God and partaking of His salvation. Nothing else in life really matters. Other blessings may come and go. Wealth, material possessions, health -- they all have wings. We should be grateful when we have them, serving God "with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things" (Deuteronomy 28:47). But when they are gone, we still have that which counts most: God, His Word, His Church, His Spirit.

The apostle Paul realized this and admonished Christians to always give thanks:

18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God. (Ephesians 5:18-21)

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Paul always found a lot to be grateful for. He could say:

11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. (Philippians 4:11-12)

Thankful contentment is happiness! Plus realize that God will strengthen you if you will keep your trust in Him!

Jesus the Christ proved that He could overcome every obstacle. There is no problem in the world that He cannot solve for us. That is who strengthens me why He tells us:

33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

Consider also that those that do not truly praise God do not have the assurance of eternal life:

2 While I live I will praise the Lord;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.

3 Do not put your trust in princes,
Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help.
4 His spirit departs, he returns to his earth;
In that very day his plans perish. (Psalm 146:2-7)

We should be grateful for the happiness knowing and living the truth brings. More on thankfulness can be found in the article: Giving Thanks.

We today have all of the same opportunities that produced such deep happiness for the members of the early New Testament Church.

Jesus said His followers would be the light of the world, and that we should let our light shine before men (Matthew 5:14-16). Nothing brightens up a day more for someone than to be in contact with a begotten son of God who is unselfishly happy -- who shares the same joys the members of the apostolic era experienced.

Completely Choose God's Way

If you truly want to be happier, you can do something about it. Examine your priorities and your thoughts. Determine to make any necessary changes so you may reflect more of the lasting happiness now that God wants for you always!

You need to chose to really do things God's way:

2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. (James 1:2-8)

Do not be double-minded--completely choose God's way! Really trust God!

Consider also:

Anticipating Glory

Christians have the promise of eternal life. This is a hope the people in the world do not have (Ephesians 2:12). When we who are called begin to feel burdened down we can remember that the present distress is only a temporary condition. While other people's hearts are failing them for fear and worry, and while the world falls apart around us, we can lift up our heads because our redemption draws near (Luke 21:25-28).

That's why the apostle Paul tells us to be "Rejoicing in hope" even though at the same time we may need to be "patient in tribulation" (Romans 12:12). For a short season we may be "in heaviness through manifold temptations." Yet knowing we will be grateful throughout eternity for what these trials produce in us, we can "rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory" (1 Peter 1:6-9).

The world can offer no thrill or happiness as exciting as anticipating the moment when our change will take place and real life will begin. ...

Having the Holy Spirit

Human beings. were created incomplete. There is a natural void, an empty place that needs to be filled. Oh, we are physically complete, but we are not spiritually complete. We Were born to need the Spirit of God.

It is not possible to be truly, deeply, lastingly happy without the Holy Spirit. It is only when one has God's Spirit in him that he may have the fruits of that Spirit, among which are joy and peace (Galatians 5:22): "For the kingdom of God is... righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Romans 14:17). (Steep C. Happiness Is - Good News, October 1980)

The happiness the Bible teaches about is genuine and profound and lasting. It does not depend upon physical circumstances.

In this life, God wants us to live successful, happy lives -- to enjoy good health, a challenging career, a beautiful marriage, and happy children. He promises blessings and special protection to those who seek to do His will and keep His commandments!

26 "Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse: 27 the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you today; 28 and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you today (Deuteronomy 11:26-28).

19 I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; 20 that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; (Deuteronomy 30:19-20)

Living God's way brings a happiness that is more than fleeting pleasure. It brings an assurance when times are rough. Belief in the vision of the good things to come. 

Look to the Future

The Apostle Paul wrote:

17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! 18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. (1 Corinthians 15:17-19)

Christians are to look to the future.

Notice the following:

4 By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.

5 By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, "and was not found, because God had taken him"; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

7 By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; 10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

11 By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude — innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.

13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. 15 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them. (Hebrews 11:4-16)

39 And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, 40 God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us. (Hebrews 11:39)

1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2)

And then?

Notice what is in the future for real Christians:

3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." (Revelation 21:3-4).

And the happiness we will experience will be beyond that which humans can imagine (1 Corinthians 2:9).

You are unique and one who will be able to give love in a way to make eternity better for you and all in God's Kingdom (see also the free online book: The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN: Why Did God Create Anything? Why did God make you?).

Biblical Keys to Happiness

Here is a list of fifteen biblical keys to happiness:

  1. Do not focus on temporal pleasures
  2. Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness
  3. Strive to obey God's commands--and that includes how you physically work
  4. Trust God
  5. Accept chastisement, tests, and trials
  6. Have the right vision
  7. Don't worry--be confident
  8. Be careful about complaints
  9. Unity in Christian fellowship
  10. Rejoice
  11. Forgive: Do not allow the root of bitterness to take hold
  12. Work on maintaining your family God's way
  13. Be thankful
  14. Choose God's ways
  15. Look to the role God has for eternity

Although there are many ways in which the Bible describes true happiness, they may all be summed up in one definition: Happiness is -- doing God's will. It really works.

To close, consider:

6 ... Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end. (Hebrews 3:6, NKJV)

17 "If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them" (John 13:17, KJV)!

Thiel B. Biblical Keys to Happiness? COGwriter (c) 2017 2020 2021 1121

A related sermon is available and is titled:Happiness: 15 Biblical Keys.

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