WHAT CONSTITUTES TRUE HAPPINESS?
Psalm 16 seems to portray the saying of a happy man. “This writer may have had plenty of nothing – no money, no property, no status and no security but he was satisfied with God as his sufficiency and that alone made him happy.” The writer started, “Preserve me O God, for I take my refuge in you. You are my Lord and I have no good apart from you” [Psalm 16:1-2]. This is a statement of complete resignation. He must have learned this important truth from his personal experiences with God. He learned that a man with God can be happy even when he has nothing else; God alone gives true happiness. He went further to say, “My life is filled with joy as I delight in the Saints who live holy lives on earth. Their lives are also filled with happiness because they have God as the Lord of their lives; those who worship and serve other gods multiply their sorrows. I have no delight in them because they are fetish; neither share in blood offerings nor swear by their names.” Until someone comes to the point where God means everything; nothing except Him, only Him matters, He or she has not known God. Nobody becomes a true Christian until He/she can say truthfully, “I have no good apart from You.”
Since I have God as a portion of my inheritance, I have a goodly heritage. I am satisfied in Him because He’s all I need. Many people are dissatisfied with their heritage. They wish they were born of different parents, different race and social background with better dispositions and opportunities; in some other country of the world. Some are ashamed to identify with their parents, ethnicity and root. They feel cheated and deprived by nature and humanity such that they become always unhappy and mean in behavior. Since God is my inheritance, I am a citizen of heaven and just passing through this earth. I am a child of God and have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. I have a great family; brothers and sisters, known and unknown, all over the world. We are all great happy family in the Lord and we enjoy His presence even when we do not see Him physically or feel less of Him.
We are saved by putting faith in Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross. Some amongst us are going through a season of difficulty, trials and persecution. Others have fallen a couple of times but still enjoy the warmth embrace of the Father’s love in their attempts to rise and walk again in faith. Yet they are not considered as failures. God grace is ever sufficient at all times. This great God determines our destiny and holds our future; no one can cut us short or pull us down or away from Him. Our destiny is not determined by wealth, by tribe or race, by influence or education and earthly goodness. We shall not die before our time because we are secured, protected and hidden in God. He’s our shield and refuge against the wiles of the enemies. God is also our cup; He satisfies our tastiness. In Him we drink the water of life that quenches our thirst and we taste no more; our cup run over. God sometimes allow us pass through some periods of dryness. However for a good purpose – those seasons of dryness test our faith and strengthen our resolve as well as keep us in track.
More-so, His boundary lines marks out pleasant places for us. We are disciplined as we sincerely follow the limits mapped out for us; such that we achieve good success. Many people believe if they possess the good things of life that is evidence that they are enjoying life and that meets man’s deepest desire and needs. But in reality, the reverse is the truth. When God created man, He left such a vacuum that only Him can fill; gave man thirsts that only Him quench and hunger that God alone can satisfy. Little wonder Apostle Paul said, in Him we live, we move and have our being. Saint Augustine confessed, “Thou has made us for thyself and our souls are restless until they find their rest in thee.”
A certain group of people believe that if they change location, live in a White or Red house and juggle a few things around, they shall find contentment and be happy. I doubt the full correctness of this opinion. However, I know that contentment is a state of mind and it comes from the inside out. The Psalmist found satisfaction and contentment in God and that brought him true happiness. I ask: where is your source of happiness? Is it on things that do not endure; that terminates after a time or vanish like dust blown by wind? What is it?
The Psalmist revealed his source of happiness: “I bless the Lord who has given me counsel; my heart also instructs me in the night seasons, I have set the Lord always before me. Because He’s at my right hand, I shall not be moved” [Verses 7-8]. The Book of Proverbs of Solomon added, “Counsel is mine and sound wisdom, I am understanding; I have strength. Riches and honor are with me; enduring riches and righteousness” [Proverbs 8:14, 18]. The Psalmist acknowledges and for this reason, blesses God who gives him advices and instructs him while he sleeps at night. Some people pride in saying I did it; it was my ingenuity and sound judgment. They forget they did not create themselves. It was God that made them and deposited such great sense of smartness and while they sleep He still talks to them. Praise the Lord for every good and perfect gift comes from Him, The Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” [James 1:17].
When you have a God you can depend on and that supplies all your needs, then you need nothing else than rest on Him; even when all you see and pass through could sadden you, but with Him you can’t help being not only happy but joyful. King David, who had escaped death severally, knew how God had enveloped and secured him. With the assurance of wonderful life here on earth and thereafter in God’s kingdom, the Psalmist happiness flows to no bound and he testifies, “My heart is glad and my glory rejoices; my body shall rest in hope. For I know you will not leave my soul in hell or allow your holy one to see corruption. Rather you will show me the path of life and fullness of joy in your presence as well as eternal pleasures in your right hand” [Verses 9-11]. This joyful life is availed here on earth and after we pass in heaven by the resurrected Savior to all who put faith in His saving grace. “When you relinquish the desire to control your future you obtain happiness.” The choice is up to you; better make it now.
Reach: Ogbonnaya, Godswill at: firstname.lastname@example.org or P. O. Box 720035 , Houston , Texas , 77272 .