Too much of the time we are looking for happiness from things on the outside. Happiness is not dependent on health, wealth or food. It’s not that there is anything wrong with having any of these things. The problem is when they become our focus, ‘they have us’. What is important is our focus. It should be on God not on things of the world. Our happiness comes from a right relationship with God.
In Luke 6:17-26 we find the Beatitudes, sometimes called the “Sermon on the Plain”. This is a shorter teaching similar to the “Sermon on the Mount” in Matthew. It has been said that these Beatitudes turned things upside down. This is true from a worldly perspective. When asked about the Beatitudes, E. Stanley Jones replied, “First you think they have turned everything upside down. Then you realize they have turned everything right side up.” The Amplified Version of this Scripture does a great job of turning it right side up and providing a spiritual understanding of this scripture.
Being happy is a choice. We can decide to be happy or not. Deciding to be happy doesn’t mean that bad things won’t happen because they will. The difference is how we handle these things. On the surface one would presume that lottery winners would be much happier than paralyzed accident victims, but studies show this to not necessarily be the case.
Living life focused on ourselves is a recipe for disappointment. Our purpose is to serve others, not to a point of neglecting ourselves, but rather by using our gifts. In 1 Peter 4:10 it says, “God has shown you his grace in many different ways. So be good servants and use whatever gift he has given you in a way that will best serve each other.” The recipe for happiness is pleasure, engagement and meaning. All of these things are found in serving others.
Focusing our lives on God is the key to unlocking the door to happiness.