By Sue Forde

I’ve heard individuals say, “I just want to be happy!”  Some people seek happiness in the pleasure of relationships with other individuals; some try to find it in drugs or alcohol.  Still others pour themselves into their work to the exclusion of everything else, or seek to become rich in order to be “happy.”  “I can only be happy if I have a new house.”  Or, “I will be happy if I get that man/woman to be my spouse.”

Yet time after time, we hear people sigh that these things never bring real or lasting happiness, and there always seems to be a “hole” in their lives.  This type of happiness is based on emotions and circumstances; it’s temporary and must be sought again and again. It only lasts for a short while.  As the great King Solomon said, “all is vanity,” as he sought to find happiness in all these ways and more. (Eccl. 1:2).

True happiness or joy is an attitude that does not rely on emotions or circumstances.  In the book of Proverbs in the Bible, we learn what can bring long-lasting happiness or joy.  It starts with a good relationship with God.  Psalms 144:15 says, “Happy is that people whose God is the Lord.”  And more astonishing, we find that God himself can be happy (pleased), when His people do the right thing.  “And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing,” (referring to Solomon’s request for wisdom, instead of material things).  When King Solomon pleased the Lord, he reaped the rewards from his loving Father God.

In other places, we read: “The Lord had done great things for us; we were joyful.” (Psa 126:3) The joy of the Lord also brings strength in hard times. (Neh 8:10).

Joy starts with the Lord who created us in His image.  And, as followers of Jesus Christ, the son of God, we also become sons and daughters of the Father. (2 Cor 6:18).

Can you even imagine this?  Think about it: Jesus Christ is Lord of Lord and King of Kings. (1 Tim 6:15; Rev 17:14, 19:16).  As sons and daughters, we become princes and princesses in His kingdom.  See yourself in this new light.  How would a prince or princess act?  Would they be kind, loving, giving – when all that their Father has, has been given to them?  These freely given gifts include salvation (Jesus died to bring us that, paying the price for our faults and failures in life); joy, peace, love.  All the good things we all seek, every day.  There’s a simple way to tap into this type of happiness/joy.  That’s by seeking God’s will first and foremost; and everything else is added to your life in return (Matt 6:33).

No matter what your circumstances, joy can be yours by accepting the Lord Jesus Christ into your life, by turning your life and your will over to Him, and then start each day with a recommitment to His will for your life.  You’ll find amazing things start to happen – sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly – but exactly on God’s time schedule as is best for your life!  Why not give it a try?  You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.