are you happy?


Psalm 5:11 But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; Let those also who love Your name Be joyful in You.



The other day someone commented that I looked "so happy" in an old photo and then asked, are you still that happy? My first reaction was an inner chuckle! I couldn't help but recall a phase my 5-year old grandson went through a while back. For a time, when he was given instructions, upon completing the task, he would ask, "Are you happy now?" You can't imagine how annoying that can get! So often we do get trapped into depending on those around us for our own happiness.


Happiness... What is that anyway? Where does it come from? How do you find it? Webster defines happiness as good luck, good fortune, prosperity, an agreeable feeling or condition of the soul arising from good fortune or propitious happening of any kind; the possession of those circumstances or that state of being which is attended enjoyment; the state of being happy; contentment; joyful satisfaction; felicity; blessedness.


Does this mean that when things are not going well in our life, we are destined to doom and gloom? As a young woman, I was very good at putting on a happy face and pretending that all was well, no matter what the circumstances. I was often distressed and depressed on the inside. As I got older and wiser, I came to the realization that no matter what my circumstances, my life is in God's hands. He knows the whole picture, how the shattered pieces fit together and the purpose for everything - good and bad - in my life.

Philipians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy; meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. 10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. 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. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Accepting this promise is the first stage of finding the "peace of God", a peace that goes beyond our own understanding. In simple terms, this scripture tells us, "Don't worry, be happy!" Only when you fully trust God with your life is that really possible.


I say it over and over, the plan that God has for my life is not the one I would have chosen for myself, but I know that He holds my life in his hands. He cares for me and loves me. He has his own timeframe. God knew that after I would be confined to a wheelchair for seven years, I would hear that the son of my childhood friend was recently paralyzed in a construction accident. God allowed me to offer words of encouragement and hope to my friend and the advice, "Tell him to never give up!"


We have a choice, doom and gloom or inner peace and true happiness through faith in Christ. Which will you choose? Are you happy now?

June 2001