The Search for Happiness

Happiness is an elusive concept. Our lives are spent searching for happiness, but we may not know what it looks like. We look to the lives of other people, the pursuit of career, fortune, fame, relationships, hobbies, self-improvement, and even religion. However, if these pursuits bring us to a dead end, we seek ways to dull the pain and misery brought on by crushed dreams and aspirations through addictions, grief, or giving into bitterness and despair. What if we were to view happiness not as a “thing,” but a state of mind that extends beyond our current circumstances?

The famed British evangelist Charles Spurgeon said, “It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.”[1]

Martha Washington, wife of the first U.S. President George Washington, echoed the same sentiments as the Apostle Paul in Philippians 4:11-13 when she said, “I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition.”[2]

The Stoic philosopher Seneca said, “True happiness is… to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future.”[3]

The Apostle Peter wrote, “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.” (2 Peter 1:3, NIV).

In short, we have all that we need to live a happy life. For the Christian, the Holy Spirit resides in us to guide us in all truth, joy, and contentment. The Holy Spirit is also there to convict us of our sin and to keep us on the correct path in life. If we can rest assured that the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ covers our sins past, present, and future, why is there a need to live in the regret of the past? Why would we need to dread the upcoming day? Why do we live in fear of tomorrow and the future?

Though current circumstances may not be ideal through your or the world’s expectations, we must enjoy it and make the best of it, for God in His infinite wisdom has assigned us these struggles that His glory may shine forth. Everything we have- our families, our possessions, our very lives are simply on loan to us. We are simply stewards and caretakers who must manage the estate until the True Owner returns.

Let us go forth and enjoy today while we have it. Do all for the glory of God. Whatever you are or strive to be in this life, be the best at it. Our abundance of joy and happiness is found in what we have and not what we do not have. The search for happiness begins and ends within our spirits and thoughts. God bless you.

[1] http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/c/charlesspu131342.html?src=t_happiness Accessed 3 June 2016.

[2] http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/marthawash160612.html?src=t_happiness Accessed 3 June 2016.

[3] : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/l/luciusanna121552.html?src=t_happiness Accessed 3 June 2016.

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