Are you happy? What makes us happy—truly happy? Many might respond to that question by asking, “Well, how do you define happiness?”
Dictionary definitions for “happy” and “happiness” aren’t really all that helpful. You may find definitions such as: the feeling of being pleased, feeling pleasure, feeling contentment, and so on. Search the Internet for “happiness is” and you will likely get over 30 million results. For example, one result is from Psychology Today, which states that happiness is “a state of well-being that encompasses living a good life—that is, with a sense of meaning and deep satisfaction.” It also states that happiness an elusive state, and that philosophers, theologians, and psychologists have long sought to define it.
Quotes about happiness aren’t that helpful either. You can find all kinds of quotes, including philosophical, silly, warm and cuddly, or even profane. Real happiness isn’t some cutesy saying like: “Happiness is a new puppy”; “… freshly baked bread”; “… a sunny day”; “… time with family”; “… going home,” or similar statements. Such simple statements do little to help define true happiness, much less point the way to finding it.
We can also search the Internet for “how to find happiness” and get millions of results, anything from common sense statements like “do what you love” and “choose good friends,” to warm and fuzzy statements like “listen to your heart” and “love yourself,” which are all vague and unsatisfactory “how-tos.”
But even though it may be hard to define happiness, we can usually tell if we are happy or not.
Being happy, or finding happiness, is something everyone wants. To most, happiness is more important than being rich or famous—but does anyone really know how to be happy, or to find true happiness?
Or, is that as hard as finding a purpose to life? Is life’s purpose, as some conclude, simply to find happiness? And if that is the case, if we can’t even define what happiness is, and we do not know how to find it, everything seems futile.
Many would like to know the purpose of life, but most believe that it is impossible to discover. So, they often conclude that finding happiness at least gives some meaning to life.
But happiness seems to be so elusive! Why can’t we figure out how to find true happiness?
The Bible speaks of happiness. The Hebrew word (Strong’s Concordance #H835 אֶשֶׁר pronounced “eh'-sher”) means “blessed, happy,” and as an interjection, “How happy!” Psalm 119:2 says, “Blessed (happy) are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with the whole heart!” And in Psalm 128:1, “Blessed (happy) is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways.”
In the New Testament, the Greek word (Strong’s Concordance #G3107 Μακάριος pronounced “mak-ar'-ee-os”) means “supremely blest, blessed, happy.” Once, while Jesus was teaching, a woman in the crowd shouted out, “Blessed is the womb that bore You…!” Jesus responded, saying to her, “… More than that, blessed (happy) are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” (Luke 11:27–28).
In Acts 20, Paul was traveling after the Days of Unleavened Bread (v. 7) on his way to Jerusalem, which he hoped to reach before the Day of Pentecost (v. 16). He sent for the elders of Ephesus to meet him at Miletus, to instruct them. He reminded them, “… And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed (happy) to give than to receive’” (v. 35).
In these few verses of the Bible, among many, are instructions about happiness, how to be happy and how to find happiness. Christ taught what are commonly called “The Beatitudes,” which say, “Blessed (happy) are ….” to help us all find the way to true happiness. Be sure to watch the telecasts, “Secrets to Happiness” and “Seven Steps to Happiness” and read our free booklet, Your Ultimate Destiny.