“Give me happiness, O LORD, for I give myself to you.”
Don’t worry. Be happy.
Such simple words, yet so hard to live out sometimes.
While there is a song by that name from the 1980s, our Savior knew we would be prone to worry and struggle to find happiness in this world:
“Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more than clothes? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”
Don’t worry about your life.
Don’t. Worry. About. Your. Life.
Sorry, I had to repeat that to myself. I tend to be a positive person, but I think true happiness is witnessed during times of affliction. It is in the deeply painful seasons of our lives where our happiness is tested.
I remember a season of my life when I asked God, “would things ever be simple again”? Simplicity was where I found my happy. When life was not so complicated and when just “being” did not hurt. “My grace is sufficient for you” was the answer the LORD whispered to my soul.
That was not the answer I wanted to hear, and yet I thank God that when pain or sorrows were not removed from my life, I encountered and met God in a much deeper way than if I just wanted him to make me happy. And suddenly the tears of self-pity were changed into tears of joy that my God is enough! His grace is enough for me, miraculously, to give me happiness in His presence!
I marvel that He cares so very much for us and that when hard things are allowed in, He is able to be what we need. And I wonder if I never had to face those hard places if I would have turned to God for happiness in the first place?
We grow up on fairy tales with goals for happiness that are nurtured into our souls and dependent upon achieving something or having perfect circumstances.
But life happens. What then?
The Psalmist knew what it was to suffer and to try to find happiness in this life. After much struggle, he realized that the only lasting happiness is in God. Happiness makes sense. Pain doesn’t. Problems don’t.
So, how do we “Be” happy? Happiness is a state of being. Will we cave to the environment around us and all the joy stealers, or will we “be” in the happiness God provides? We find sheer joy in His presence. And this happens when we give ourselves to Him—completely as the Psalmist did.
We can go through anything in this life with Christ and still “be” happy when our happiness is not set on this world. That does not mean we will not have happiness that this earth provides, but it does mean that my source of joy is not dependent upon life being perfect.
Don’t worry. BE happy. Don’t look for this world to GIVE you happiness. Choose it by abiding in Christ. Being what God called us to be is where happiness is found.