Are you happy?  Are you happy with your position in this world, your lot in this life?  Many people are but many people are not.  If you complain, find fault, always view the negative about people, about your situation, about the circumstances around you; it is quite likely that you are making yourself miserable.  In fact you are probably making those who are closest to you and love you the most miserable as well.  For you see happiness is a perspective.  Happiness is an attitude.  It can not be purchased or earned, nor does it exist in a place to which we may travel.  Happiness is a lifestyle.  Happiness is taking whatever the world gives you and learning it really doesn’t matter because what is really important is our eternal destiny.  Someone has said happiness is taking the lemons the world gives us and making ourselves lemonade.

            An example in scripture is Joseph, the son of Jacob or Israel.  In Genesis 37 he is taken by his brothers and sold as a slave to the Ishmaelite or Midianite merchants.  They take him to a foreign land and in turn sell him to Potiphar.  While in service to this Egyptian official he is imprisoned because he refuses the advances of Potiphar’s wife and refuses to betray his master.  When the butler and baker from the king’s household were also imprisoned they were placed under Joseph (Genesis 40:3-4).  After a period of time Joseph, who is responsible for their care, observed sadness in them, a sadness that he did not share because Joseph had learned some lessons about happiness; lessons that we could do well today to imitate.

            First of all Joseph accepted God’s purpose for him; even when that purpose included being in prison.  And when the opportunity came to face his brothers and get even with them for the way they treated him what did he do?   He treated them with graciousness and forgiveness because:


Genesis 50:19-20And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? 20But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.”


Joseph was able to put away any sadness, anger, or thoughts of revenge brought about by the evil done against him because he was willing to let God work in his life.  So should it be with us today.  We are happy if we learn to trust in God and see his hand working in our lives for good.  Just as Paul reminds us:


Romans 8:2828And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”


Even when the Roman brethren were counted as sheep for the slaughter in the arenas Paul writes:


Romans 8:37-3937Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”


            What is the Christian’s key to happiness?  Love the Lord, know that he will work all things together for good and trust God that he will help us conquer the trials and troubles of this life.  Paul again:


Philippians 4:13I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”


            Look at the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12), notice what kinds of people are happy (blessed) – those who are: poor in spirit, mourners, meek, hungry and thirsty, merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers, persecuted, reviled and falsely accused of evil.  Why do you suppose they were happy?  After all people of the world would say they’re crazy, these people don’t have any reason to be happy; they should be sad, miserable and depressed.

            So now why are they happy?  Because – theirs is the kingdom of heaven, they shalt be comforted, they shall inherit the earth, they shall be filled, they shall obtain mercy, they shall see God, they shall be called the sons of God, theirs is the kingdom of heaven and they have a great reward in heaven.  These people are not happy because of what they have, but because of what they will have in the future.  Their focus is on God’s eternal reward, God’s sure promises for those who are his peculiar people.  Oh, yes, some of God’s blessings are received here on earth but by far the greatest will be received in heaven.

            Often times, the only thing keeping us from being happy is ourselves.  But if we remember our earthly and heavenly blessings, if we realize the life we shall live in our spiritual body, and if we walk by faith having confidence in the Lord, what can overcome the happiness we receive from God?  Nothing – except perhaps our own selfish wants and ambitions.

            What about you my friend?  Are you happy?  Have you given over all of the troubles and cares of this world to our heavenly Father?  Are you a child of God?  Are you one who has the promise of a home in heaven in eternity?  If not you can remedy that short coming tonight, do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, then repent of your past sins as Jesus tells us in Luke 13:3, confess his name before us as we’re commanded in Matthew 10:32 and be baptized for the remission of your sins as those were on Pentecost (Acts 2:38) and be added to his called out, the saved as those people were in Acts 2:47.  Or if you are a child of His but have lost your focus, your perspective needs adjusting, you have sin in your life that you need to bring and leave at his feet, come that we may pray with and for you as we stand and sing.