Ep.1307: Is There a Christian Secret to a Happy Life?
Finding biblical clues for living a life of Christian happiness
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Theme Scripture: Romans 8:28
Way back in the 1980’s Bobby McFerrin recorded and released his very popular song, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” It's a simple and upbeat perspective on living. When you think about it, the title is a profound instruction for life. Don’t worry; instead, be happy! About 100 years before this catchy song, Hannah Whitall Smith wrote an ageless book called The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life. In it, she detailed a powerful formula for happy living that was based on complete faith in God and fully surrendering to His will. The message in the song and the book are the same, except the book gives us solid “how to” perspectives for Christians. While we won’t be singing the song or reviewing the book, we will be applying scriptural principles that will help make happiness real in our daily Christian lives.
Do you know how the Bible defines happiness?
The first and perhaps most important point in figuring out what a “happy” life looks like would be to actually define the word. This might sound silly at first. After all, everyone knows what it means to be happy! But do they? When we say, “Happy Birthday,” we are wishing a person to have feelings of goodness and excitement. How about when we look at a happy coincidence? It means we observe events that came together in an unplanned but positive way. When we end a story with “happily ever after,” we are indicating that life for those involved will be smooth and contented going forward. Happy can mean many things!
Biblical happiness is none of the above.
As a matter of fact, biblical happiness is much more about a state of mind than it is about how we might feel in a given circumstance. The Old Testament sets the standard for happiness by the way the Hebrew word is translated. The same word can be “happy,” as in Deuteronomy 33:29, and “blessed,” as in Psalm 1:1. This suggests that happiness for those who are loyal to God is a direct result of that loyalty. It helps us begin to understand that being happy is not an emotional state; rather, it is a focused state of mind.
On the surface, this can sound depressing. You might think, you mean I don’t get to be happy as a Christian? Actually, we are saying just the opposite. Christian happiness can and should be vibrant even when life is not going well. 1 Peter 4:14 says that we are happy - we are blessed - when we suffer reproach for Jesus’ sake. So, how does that work?
Check out our November 13, 2023 podcast, “Is There a Secret for a Happy Christian Life?” for answers. We walk through understanding what true Christian happiness is and what it looks like. Then we then dig into the how to of actually applying it to our daily life. We also examine how Christian contentedness and happiness can give us a truly bountiful life. Join us! This is a journey worth taking as it can open our eyes to a fulfilled Christian life.