True Happiness
by R.J. Evans

It has been rightly said that “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” (Some have attributed the quote to Abraham Lincoln.) As if it were not bad enough that they deprive themselves of joy, some people also make life miserable for others around them.   In this article, let us offer some practical suggestions for Christians to be happy.  

1.  Trust in God.  The individual who places his faith and trust in God has a source of strength and delight that unbelievers do not understand. Solomon tells us to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding…And whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he” (Prov. 3:5; 16:20).  People who worry and fret may call themselves Christians, but their attitude mirrors a lack of faith and trust in God.  

2.  Love the Word of God.  “Oh, how I love Your law!  It is my meditation all the day” (Psa. 119:97). “How sweet are Your words to my taste, Sweeter than honey to my mouth!”  (Psa. 119:103). The Word of God is the truth (Jn. 17:17).  The precious Word of God provides hope, comfort, and joy to all who are lovers of truth.  Do you love the truth? (See 2 Thes. 2:10-12.)

3.  Live righteously. “Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; But he who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him.  Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; And shout for joy all you upright in heart!” (Psa. 32:10-11). “The righteous shall be glad in the Lord, and trust in Him.  And all the upright in heart shall glory” (Psa. 64:10).  By way of contrast, those who are transgressors and fail to live righteously, the wise man tells them — “the way of the unfaithful is hard” (Prov. 13:15).  

4.  Worship God regularly.  True worship is a joy and delight, and it is through worship of God that our hearts are lifted.  David said, “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go into the house of the Lord'” (Psa. 122:1). “Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!  Tremble before him, all the earth…Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad” (Psa. 96:9, 11).  As we worship God, our minds should be completely centered upon God, not on children around us, someone’s clothing, others getting up, texting nor surfing the Internet on our iPhone, etc. Worship is for the glory of God and for the joy and strength of His children.  Jesus said, “God is  Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (Jn. 4:24).  Thus, we should see clearly why, as Christians, we are told — “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much more as you see the Day approaching” (Heb. 10:25).  

5.  Keep a good conscience.  When standing before Felix, Ananias the high priest, and the Jewish elders, Paul remarked, “This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and man” (Acts 24:16). Timothy was instructed to hold on to faith and “a good conscience” (1 Tim. 1:19). When we are scripturally baptized, which “saves us,” it is “the answer of a good conscience toward God” (1 Pet. 3:21). Thus, when you obey the gospel you allow the blood of Jesus to “purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God” (Heb. 9:14).  

6. Learn contentment. Some constantly murmur and complain.  They gripe about their wages, their job, the government, the weather, and whatever else comes to mind.  Some professed Christians complain about the elders, the preacher and his preaching, the song leaders, the Bible classes and teachers.  Their attitude bears little resemblance to the disposition of heart that the New Testament teaches.  Paul wrote, “Do all things without murmuring and disputing…Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content” (Phil. 2:14; 4:11).  May we all take note and learn from the example of the Apostle Paul.  A contented Christian is a happy Christian!

7.  Stay busy in constructive work.  Idleness breeds  gossip and discord  (1 Tim. 5:13).  Happiness comes to him who works persistently, consistently, and diligently in the service of the Lord.  The happy Christian is “not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord”  (Rom. 12:11).

Are you a happy Christian?

 

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