All human beings want to be happy, yet for many people it seems to be the most elusive of human conditions.
A person can spend a lifetime in pursuit of happiness and never find it. Solomon searched for happiness in the accumulation of wealth, in the arms of many beautiful women, in music and finery, even in the abuse of alcohol. In the end, he concluded that obeying God was the most important key to happiness (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
American King James Version×; also read Ecclesiastes 1-2).
Points to Build On
1. Contentment comes from a relationship with God.
Proverbs 14:14 Proverbs 14:14The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself.
American King James Version×- “The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways. But a good man will be satisfied from above.”
A key to happiness is the ability to be content regardless of what’s happening around us. This contentment comes from a close relationship with God and is achieved by spending time in prayer, Bible study and meditating on God and His ways.
2. The human condition is a mixture of happiness and sadness.
Proverbs 14:13 Proverbs 14:13Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness.
American King James Version×- “Even in laughter the heart may sorrow, And the end of mirth may be grief.”
It is important to keep a perspective that joy, happiness, sadness and grief are all human emotions that everyone experiences from time to time.
3. Anxiety is a root of depression while serving others can lift depression.
Proverbs 12:25 Proverbs 12:25Heaviness in the heart of man makes it stoop: but a good word makes it glad.
American King James Version×- “Anxiety in the heart of a man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad.”
A source of depression is anxiety and worry. Depression can become so debilitating that a person no longer has the energy to face life’s problems. This leads to more worry and anxiety. A key to breaking this cycle is to change your perspective by doing good works for others.
4. Delayed success can cause discouragement.
Proverbs 13:12 Proverbs 13:12Hope deferred makes the heart sick: but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.
American King James Version×- ”Hope deferred makes the heart sick; but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.”
5. Sadness breeds loneliness.
Proverbs 14:10 Proverbs 14:10The heart knows his own bitterness; and a stranger does not intermeddle with his joy.
American King James Version×- “The heart knows its own bitterness, And a stranger does not share its joy.”
Life is meant to be shared in close relationships with others. Bitterness tends to drive a person to avoid others and shun the encouragement he or she needs. Close friends and relatives can help carry the burden of sadness.
6. Negative emotions cause physical health problems, while positive emotions cause good health.
Proverbs 17:22 Proverbs 17:22A merry heart does good like a medicine: but a broken spirit dries the bones.
American King James Version×- “A merry heart does good like a medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones.”
Proverbs 18:14 Proverbs 18:14The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?
American King James Version×- “The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness, But who can bear a broken spirit?”
7. Emotions are communicated in our expressions and posture.
Proverbs 15:13 Proverbs 15:13A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.
American King James Version×- “A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, But by the sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.”
8. Treating others’ depression or discouragement lightly will make their hurt worse.
Proverbs 25:20 Proverbs 25:20As he that takes away a garment in cold weather, and as vinegar on nitre, so is he that singes songs to an heavy heart.
American King James Version×- “Like the one who takes away a garment in cold weather, And like vinegar on soda, Is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.”
Happiness and sadness are experiences in each person’s life. Contentment, a vital key to happiness, begins with a close relationship with God.