You see, there was a long stretch in my life where I was a truly unhappy person. To me happiness was an elusive dream. It was something that I longed for, searched for, and so desperately desired.
In my quest to find happiness I sought out relationships with people. I thought if I could find the right girl I would find happiness. I thought if I surrounded myself with a close group of friends I would discover what it meant to be happy. I did both and soon realized that people couldn’t make me happy.
When I realized that people couldn’t make me happy I decided that I would I find happiness by moving. I just knew that if I moved away from my unhappiness I was sure to find happiness somewhere else. So I moved to Florida where I thought I would be happy. But I soon felt that if I would move back to Tennessee I would be happier.
Finally after seeing that people and places were not going to make me happy I decided to turn to work and money, surely I could find happiness in those things. I’m here to tell you that happiness can’t be founded upon where you work or the type of job you do. And don’t get me started on money. You all have heard the old saying, “more money; more problems,” well it’s especially true when you’re looking for money to make you happy. Neither of these things made me happy and I was ready to give up. I was ready to resign myself to a life of unhappiness.
And then one day I read a bible verse that changed my life. In Luke 11:28 Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” To understand how this verse fits with the concept of happiness you need only to know that blessed is sometimes translated happy (Acts 26:2; Romans 14:22 NKJV). So Jesus is saying, “Happy are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” It was then that I finally realized that if I really wanted to be happy I couldn’t base my happiness on people, places or things… my happiness had to come from God’s word and my keeping of it. Then and only then could I be happy. I can’t express to you the joy and freedom that came to me that day. I was finally released from the drudgery of seeking after happiness because I knew it could be found in the keeping of God’s word. Does that mean that I’ve kept His word perfectly since then? Of course not. When I falter, and believe me, I falter, I ask for forgiveness, confess my weakness and go back to keeping God’s word.
The apostle Paul understood this concept. He was a man who endured more for the cause of Christ than any of us could imagine and yet he was able to, “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.” (Philippians 4:11) His contentment was not predicated by the people who was with him, the place that he might have been or the things that he had. Instead his contentment, his happiness, was based on God’s word and his keeping of it. Did Paul fail in keep God’s word? In Romans 7:7-25 he confessed to failing and failing often. Yet he keep on “pressing toward the goal.”
Sadly there are a lot of unhappy Christians in the world and for the vast majority of them it’s because they are trying to find happiness in people, places and things. Friend, you will never be happy in this life unless you are following God’s word. You will never know the heights of happiness so long as you look for people, places and things to make you happy. They will all change and fail you but God and His word will never change and He will never fail you. My prayer for you is that you will look to God for your happiness.