07 Nov “What Does the Bible Say About Happiness?” by Lindsey Dowiot
I have been going through a devotional on the Bible App called “12 Huge Mistakes Parents Can Avoid” (which I highly recommend!). One of the days focuses on teaching our kids that they won’t always be happy. Basically eluding to the fact that they won’t always get what they want! Seems simple, but the fact is that as adults, we forget this ourselves. Our culture tells us to find happiness in landing the perfect job, buying that hot new item, or by doing whatever makes us “feel good”.
So, what does God say about it? Jeremiah 29:11 says, “”For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” He doesn’t want suffering for us, but unfortunately in this world, there is trouble. Does that mean we can’t have happiness, too? We need to dig a little deeper for the answer to that question.
When I was a child, visiting my grandparents church, I was taught this little acronym- Jesus, Others, Yourself, aka, JOY! Jesus breaks this down for us in Matthew 22. In verse 36, He is asked which of the commandments is the greatest. His reply is in verses 37-38, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” In Luke 10, Jesus is asked the question again, but He also adds, “Do this and you will live!” (Luke 10:25-28)
This is Jesus’ 2 -step, how-to-live plan. When we are focused on serving God and others, we won’t have time to worry about our troubles or the pursuit of our own “happiness”. By carrying out these 2 steps, we will be able to experience true JOY. As we continue in our “How to Neighbor” series on Sundays, let’s remember to put Jesus first in every area of our lives, and ask Him to show us our “neighbors” and serve & love them well.
“But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.” Psalm 5:11