We are all searching for happiness. Such is our human nature. I’m sure that you are like me and relate happiness to feeling and events; moments in time that bring a smile to your face. A date night with that special someone, your child’s achievement, the promotion at work, etc. And that is exactly what those are- moments in time. Short snapshots of time that come and go in the blink of an eye. They bring happiness, but it’s the kind that comes quickly and disappears just as fast.
True happiness will not be found in moments, but a life filled with joy, peace and blessings.
Fortunately, we are given instructions. A guide to help us achieve true, long term happiness.
Psalm 119:1-3- Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instruction of the Lord. Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts. They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in his paths. NLT
The NIV reads like this: Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord. Blessed are those who keep his statues and seek him with all their heart- they do no wrong and follow his ways. The GNT says Happy are those who live according to the law of the Lord. They obey him with all of their heart.
But my favorite is the Message version: You’re blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by God. You’re blessed when you follow his directions, doing your best to find him. That’s right, you don’t go off on your own; you walk straight along the road he set. You, God, prescibed the right way to live; now you expect us to live it. Oh, that my steps might be steady keeping to the course you set; Then I’d never have any regrets in comparing my life with your counsel.
I don’t know anyone that would not agree that blessings and joy bring happiness. I like the message version because it states its plainly and easy to understand. If we go our own way, we will have regrets. Regret never brings joy, and it definitely does not bring blessings. I know from experience (a lot of experience) that when we decide to go on our own it never goes well.
God sets a path for each one of us. It is straight and it is narrow. It is rarely easy to walk on without straying off course. I have often walked off course to grab what looked like happiness. I saw the immediate rather than seeing the big picture of what God had for me. Walking that narrow coarse may result in you missing some of those “happy moments” that appear right before your eyes. But God has better plans. He has blessings along his path. He has joy when you do it his way. And he will give you a happiness that can’t be found in any other way. Bottom line- his ways are better than our ways.
But do not despair, is if you are like me and walked off the path more than once, remember that our God is merciful and full of grace. When we look up at him and search for him, he will show us back to His path for our life. He will put us back on course. He is a loving Father and he wants the best for us. He will redirect us and bless us.