Are You Happy Yet? Instructions for Living a Godly Life When You’re Not God #2
There’s an old song that says, “If you’re happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it.” How many happy faces have you encountered lately? I look in the mirror and all I see is “old.” And yet, we all want to be happy.
Our founding fathers believed in our right to pursue happiness. So much so they addressed it in the Declaration of Independence. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
If this is true, why does the prospect of happiness paint such a bleak picture in today’s society? A recent poll from Harris Poll® Happiness has determined that two thirds of American adults are unhappy.
Take heart, my friend. There is hope if we’re willing to pursue happiness in the right place for the right reasons. The question is what does this mean and how do we get there?
Today, we begin our walk through Psalm 119 by looking at verses 1-8. If you have a Bible, you might want to read the passage before we start. The first two verses introduce us to God’s principle concerning happiness:
“Blessed are they whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord. Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart.”
You’ve probably heard it said many times. “God wants us to be holy, not happy.” That’s a rather sanctimonious statement, don’t you think? Is it possible God might want us to be both?
The truth is God’s definition of happy is different than ours. You and I know the world’s view of happiness is characterized by luck or good fortune. The Hebrew meaning for blessed is to be happy.
However, God’s view of the happy condition has nothing to do with good fortune or luck. His Word affirms happiness as a condition of pleasure and joy. But it’s a condition propagated by a principle.
God’s Principle: He blesses and bestows happiness on those who revere Him, do His will and put their trust in Him. (See NIV note on Psalm 1:1)
It’s up to us to discover and enjoy the benefits of adhering to God’s principles. And it’s up to the Holy Spirit to empower us to live by them. God doesn’t expect us to be holy or happy on our own. He does expect us to trust His Spirit to live His holy life in and through us. Therein lies the source of God’s blessings, including our happiness.
Psalm 119:1-8 gives us explicit instructions on how to live the godly life when we’re not God, including the benefits, which are:
- Clear Conscience
- Praise from an upright heart
- Security and peace of mind.
As we reflect on what we’ve learned from God’s Word, here’s a suggestion. Let’s use the following questions to gauge our walk with God, as well as our desire to grow in our relationship with Him.
1. Is my #1 priority to know God and to live in obedience to His Word?
2. Is there an area of disobedience I have yet to turn over to God?
3. Do I struggle with obedience, or am I learning to choose by faith as an act of my will to obey God?
By the way, there’s an extra bonus to living God’s way in the power of His Spirit. Faithful obedience leads to unmitigated praise. In time, praising God becomes as natural as breathing.
What would you like to praise God for right now? Whatever it is, He wants to hear it. Why? Because it comes from your happy heart. And best of all, because it makes Him happy!