"If they obey Him and serve Him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment." - Job 36:11 (NIV)
Happiness - everyone wants it! Some people spend their whole lives trying to attain it. Some think having money will make them happy...NOT. Some think sex will make them happy...NOT. Some think drugs & alcohol will make them happy...NOT. Some think having lots of "things" will make them happy...NOT. Married men think being single will make them happy while single men think being married will make them happy...NOT. Women think having a rich husband with the biggest house will make them happy...NOT. The one person that can and will bring us happiness - contentment - is usually the last person anyone wants to turn to....JESUS!!
God doesn't care if we're happy or not. Really, He doesn't!! There's no where in the Bible that says God wants us to be happy. But it does say He wants us to be holy & live righteously. He wants us in obedience and service to Him. He wants us to be joyful in Him. Not in what we have, where we live, how much money we have or make, our children or grandchildren, our families and friends, our marriages, our lives....only in HIM!!
This verse in Job says it clearly. When I am in obedience and service to God, then He will prosper me and I will be content. True joy and happiness is only going to be found when we reach Heaven; until then, it's fleeting. There will always be something or someone in this world that will rob me of happiness, but Heaven will be different. In Isaiah 51:11 (NIV), we are told, "The ransomed of the Lord will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.". In Revelation 21:4 (NIV), John tells us this: "He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.". If that's not a promise of true joy and contentment, I don't know what is!
Finding happiness in all circumstances of life is difficult at best. That's what God expects of me, though. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV) says it's God's will for me: "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.". If I can live this verse, obey and serve my God, then I will know contentment in this life. I desire to be like Paul in Philippians 4:11-13 (NIV): "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength." To walk in obedience and service to God, to be holy and righteous in God's eyes, is the greatest pleasure I can bring to Him and is the best thing I can do for myself. "But godliness with contentment is great gain." 1 Timothy 6:11 (NIV). I can find joy and contentment in this life; God has shown me the way through His Word.
"Perfect obedience would be perfect happiness, if only we had perfect confidence in the power we were obeying." - Corrie ten Boom
Dear Lord, whether in need or in plenty, I ask that You teach me to be satisfied. I don't want my happiness to rely on earthly things, which are fleeting. I desire to live as Paul did, content in every situation. May I walk in obedience and service to You. May I live my life to please You and not myself. Guide me in all that I do today. Let me be a joyful Christian and share Your joy with my family and friends. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.