Many people wish happiness to everyone for the new year. I certainly do as well but I have asked myself a few times what happiness looks like. What are people wishing exactly when they wish you happiness? Happiness is defined as the state or being happy, of feeling pleasure or contentment. We sometimes think that happiness lies in how much we own and how much we have. Our possessions provide a sense of contentment and pleasure. We think of happiness as stemming from wealth, riches and material things. We find it in our friends, family, our relationships and our connections. Being healthy is also a source of happiness. People are wishing wealth, good relationships, money and health to others on New Year’s Day if we follow the definition of happiness crafted by the world. I understand that definition by I needed to come up with one of my own. A definition that would embrace God’s version of happiness. How does God define happiness? When Jesus described what happy people were like, He said that those that are humble and walk in love are happy. Happiness according to the Lord comes from giving more than receiving. It comes from following the Lord and staying in faith. Those who promote peace and who stay strong under pressure are the happy ones. Those who are the salt of the earth for the human race and a light into the world know true happiness.
Happiness comes from sticking with God and making Him our number one. When we follow the Lord, we are bound to be humble and to walk in love. That is true happiness. Being happy to know the Lord and to be more like Him. That is a worthwhile goal and a great wish for people. If we abide by the Lord’s definition of happiness, we see that our wishes for the new year should be God-based. Instead of telling people “I wish you all the happiness in the world,” we could say “I wish you all the happiness of the Lord in 2020.” His happiness is in the giving like I said earlier. This is such a selfless way of seeing happiness and a different way of approaching our good wishes. We should be hoping that people exalt the Lord all year. People’s happiness is centered around God’s love when we look at the world through the Lord’s eyes. God wants us to die to self and live for Him and through Him. Achieving that, translates into happiness. Mansions and all the money in the world bring happiness when we think like the world. They can only get us so far. None of these material things will get us into Heaven. They can satisfy our bodies but they won’t prosper our spirits.
Happiness should be considered as a spiritual event and not just a physical manifestation. When we are happy, our bodies feel great emotions. Those emotions can be deceiving because they can go away when the possessions go away. God will never leave us so when our happiness relies on Him, we are guaranteed that it will never go away. We are shown that love is here to stay. Nothing can satisfy our spirits the way the Lord does. Our spirits long to grow in the relationship with Him. Our spirits connect to His Spirit and that connection needs to be demonstrated in our bodies and souls. When happiness comes from our hearts that are full of God’s love, our bodies and souls are positively impacted. Our spirits understand what true happiness means and it is our job to make sure that our minds get the message. The message is simple; love the Lord your God and love people. When you apply that commandment, you will fulfill God’s will and you will stay happy. You will not look at life the way the world does but the way the Lord does. Life is a series of events where giving should be the motive and loving should be the main theme. How do you define happiness? Have you thought of a definition as well? My wish for you in 2020 is that you know true happiness and that you continually celebrate the One who gave up everything so you can have it all! Define your own happiness based on the Lord and not on the world.
Suggested reading: Psalm 119; Matthew 5:5-15; James 1:2-3