• Gail Armatys


In our search for fulfillment, we often say we just want to be happy.

As these words come tumbling out, do we really know what would bring us happiness? More specifically, do you know what defines happiness for you?

What is Happiness?

Google's Definition

I Googled ‘happy’ and found these words to help clarify its meaning:

  • Content

  • Glad

  • Excited

  • Pleased

  • Delighted

All good words, but the one that caught my attention was content. When I envision contentment I see a young child snuggled up in a big oversized chair with her kitten purring away. All smiles and peace, at least for a while.

Which of these words resonates with your definition of happiness? What scene does this word cause you to envision?

God's Definition

Next, I checked the Greek definition of the word happy because we are to be in the world and not of the world. As Christ-followers, it matters most what God has to say about our happiness. Right?

As I searched I was reminded of a selection of scripture, Matthew 5:3-11, a portion of the Sermon on the Mount. Here, Jesus used the word ‘happy’ to describe people and their circumstances. You know, this is where he taught lessons such as Happy are those who are poor; Happy are those who mourn, etc.

Guess what the Greek definition of the word happy is in these verses—

  • Blessed.

Blessed? What?

Poor and mourning people are the ones who are blessed—happy? This is what I call inside-out thinking. God is famous for it. Here's another example.

Remember when God sent Samuel, the prophet, to anoint a king to replace Saul? (1 Samuel 16) Samuel thought Jesse’s son, Eliab, the tallest and most handsome son was sure to be the Lord’s anointed. That is until the Lord told him otherwise.

Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

Like I said, inside-out thinking. And inside-out thinking leads to inside-out living.

Look-Within-Your-Heart Happiness

God is first and foremost concerned with what’s going on in our hearts, our innermost being. This explains how we really can experience happiness (blessing) when we are in the most trying of circumstances because it’s who we know within us that makes us happy and blessed. (Inside-out thinking and living.)

Our happiness does not come from comfy chairs and kittens and lack of life challenges. Although, I do enjoy those things and appreciate the analogy. But they are temporary. No matter our situation, these things will not bring day-to-day and lasting happiness.

God's word teaches us true happiness is the blessing of God in us. Our happiness is found in our with-ness with God.

Boom! There it is!

Our With-ness With God Is Our Happiness

God has blessed us internally (think Jesus' Holy Spirit) and eternally (think the Kingdom of Heaven). In both instances, our deepest happiness is found in joining with him as we do what he's given us to do in our days.

We experience happiness when we invite and allow his Holy Spirit to lead, guide, encourage, and even comfort us as we encounter life. With God means he is not only

  • beside you walking with you,

  • in front of you leading you,

  • behind you guarding and moving you forward.

God is in you, for you, and with you!

You and I must decide to move our junk out of the way so we can experience the happiness his presence brings. Not that the tough things like rejection, disappointment, and loss don't matter. They do! But even still, we can experience happiness as we approach each day with God. This is not the same as skipping through the fields of flowers happiness. This is the deeper blessing of life with God through faith in Jesus.

And...it's not only him with us here, the Good News is that when we pass to eternal life, we will continue to be forever in God’s Kingdom and presence. We will be happy. And we will beWith God.

Now or then, our true and everyday happiness—blessing—is found with God today and always.

Nothing, nothing, nothing else will continue to show up and satisfy. Believe me, I’ve tried to create my own happiness or project it onto someone or something else. Life may seem joyous for a while and then my greedy soul once again hungers for more of what, in the end, steals more happiness than it offers.

If what you really want is stick-with-you-no-matter-what-you’re-doing-or-where-you-are happiness, may I encourage you to stop looking for people, places, and things to bring it to you? Change your focus from what’s outside of you, instead find your true, daily, moment-by-moment, and long-lasting happiness in the blessing you’ve already received by faith. Your with-ness with God.

What desire and vision of wordly happiness might be getting in your way of experiencing the happiness found in your with-ness with God?

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