by Mark Aites, Preacher
South Point church of Christ, Ohio

“We cannot be happy if we expect to live all the time at the highest peak of intensity. Happiness is not a matter of intensity, but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony.” – Thomas Merton

“Most people are about as happy as they choose to be.” – Abraham Lincoln

“To be happy ourselves is a most effectual contribution to the happiness of others.” – John Lubbock

“Happiness does not depend upon a full pocketbook, but upon a mind full of rich thoughts and a heart full of rich emotions.” – Wilfred Peterson

“He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

It is interesting that Webster defines happiness as, “a state of well-being and contentment.” Although easy to define, it is not necessarily easy to find.

Happiness is a state of emotion, and for one to find it, certain things in our lives have to be right. For example, it would be hard to find happiness if we have problems in our relationships. It would be hard to find happiness if we allow our financial setting to rule our lives. And it certainly would be hard to find happiness if we are not prepared to meet God.

The Bible has much to say about happiness. “…Happy are the people whose God is the LORD! (Psa. 144:15). “Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God” (Psa. 146:5). “Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding” (Prov. 3:13). “…He who has mercy on the poor, happy is he” (Prov. 14:21). “And whoever trusts in the LORD, happy is he” (Prov. 16:20). “Happy is the man who is always reverent…” (Prov. 28:14). “Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but happy is he who keeps the law” (Prov. 29:18).

Notice that in each of these thoughts, it is one’s relationship with God that makes the difference. Man today looks for happiness in so many places. Sometimes it is at the bottom of the bottle of alcohol. For others, it may be self-help books written by men for men. It may be in trying to satisfy all the desires of the flesh. But the bottom line is, that without God, true happiness cannot be found.

On one occasion Paul wrote the church at Philippi, “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content” (Phil. 4:11). That is interesting since Webster even says that contentment is needed if one if to find happiness.