This week, with all the talk swirling around Victoria Osteen’s comments on the idea that God wants us to be happy ~ for our benefit, not God’s… I decided to do a study on happiness, from a Biblical point of view, and see what God really says about it. Do you know what I found? A whole chapter devoted to happiness! It begins: Blessed is the man….also translated “Happy.” God obviously puts a great deal of emphasis on how to find happiness. He didn’t want us to be mistaken about what happiness is.
So, what is the true definition of happiness? Who is it that’s happy? Is it the person who just won the lottery? Probably for a few minutes and only by man’s standards and definition. According to God’s definition, the first characteristic of a happy person is one who is poor in spirit.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Matthew 5:3
So, I have to be poor to be happy? What? No, that’s not what he means. A happy person is one who knows he has a need. It’s a person who, no matter how wealthy they are by worldly standards, they recognize they have a need. That’s who is happiest! Are you confused? Surprised? I’m not. God’s ways are higher than our ways. Think about this.
Only the person who knows he has a need will call upon the name of God.
When we have everything we could ever hope for, there is no need left, except the need for God. And until we come to realize our need for God, we are incomplete. Something is missing. People search their whole lives for happiness thinking it can be found in material wealth or power or popularity. Hollywood is full of people on that search, who have fallen for that lie. They think the next big move will do the trick. Or the next position, promotion or just a little bit more power. But the truth is, we are never going to be satisfied with anything we do. It’s only when we realize our need for God, that we find true happiness and satisfaction.
So, regardless of whether you have material, social or physical needs completely met….the happiest person is the one who has a spiritual need and knows it. That person is Blessed…Happy…because in seeking God, they find true happiness….to that person belongs the Kingdom of Heaven.
The Amplified Version of the Bible does just that…it amplifies words that have multiple definitions, so that we can better understand the scripture. Matthew 5:3 translates to this:
3 Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the poor in spirit (the humble, who rate themselves insignificant), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven!
I’m not really sure what Victoria meant. But, perhaps we need to rethink what happiness truly is, from a biblical perspective. Once we see without Jesus we are incomplete and only in Him are we complete…can we truly find happiness.
Blessed are the poor in Spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
I want to have a happy life, don’t you? I can’t make it one day without the Lord beside me. What does being happy mean to you?