“WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES ABOUT OUR HAPPINESS”
1. Are you happy? What is happiness to you?
a. World’s definition: Fame, fortune, glory; self-satisfaction (we must not confuse the pleasures of sin with genuine happiness; sin destroys happiness, Prov. 13:15.
b. God’s definition: 1 Pet. 3:10-12 (Matt. 5:3-12).
2. God wants us to be happy as He defines it, Eccl. 3:12-13; 9:7-9.
3. Jesus is our way out of unhappiness & despair.
I. UNDERSTANDING HAPPINESS.
A. Happiness: A State of Mind, an Attitude of Heart (Prov. 23:7).
1. “…having, showing, or causing a feeling of pleasure, joy, etc.; glad,” Webster.
2. Happiness is an attitude of heart; not just an emotion.
3. Christian should be the happiest person on earth because his thinking should be right (forgiveness of sins, One in whom to trust, promise of eternal life, hope…), Jno. 14:1, 27; 16:22; 2 Cor. 6:10.
4. But, faith can weaken (faith’s contentment & trust is tested).
B. To Build a Happy Life, Build Faith in God.
1. Set your hope on God, Heb. 13:5-6.
2. Happiness is learned by trusting God, Phil. 4:10-13.
3. Count your blessings, Eph. 1:3 (Phil. 4:4).
II. THINGS OF EARTH DO NOT GIVE LASTING HAPPINESS, Eccl. 2:3 (1:13).
-(Each has its place, but none bring ultimate satisfaction.)
A. Pleasure, Eccl. 2:1-2.
1. Prov. 14:13: Even laughter may contain sorrow.
2. Pleasure does not last; therefore, it cannot ultimately fulfill (Heb. 11:25; Lk. 12:19).
3. 7:2-4: Tends toward not properly assessing life & the future.
B. Material Things (wealth, possessions), Eccl. 2:8-11 (Lk. 12:15-21).
1. 4:7-8: Tends to isolate & make one suspicious of others.
2. 5:10-11: No satisfaction to lover of money – Increased anxieties (1 Tim. 6:10).
3. Great possessions, yet great sorrow, Matt. 19:21-22.
C. Wisdom, Eccl. 2:12-17.
1. 2:13: While better than foolishness, to trust in one’s wisdom is foolish, 1 Cor. 3:18.
2. 2:14: Death still comes; Human wisdom doesn’t save us.
3. 8:16-17: Divine wisdom needed – 1 Cor. 1:21.
D. Labor, Eccl. 2:18-23.
1. 2:18-19 (Lk. 12:20): Whose shall they be?
2. 2:20: Elements of despair; 5:13-17 (its fruit does not last).
3. Work is good, but not the source of ultimate happiness, 1 Ths. 4:11-12.
4. Don’t let your work consume you…Regret it.
E. Success, Eccl. 4:4-6.
1. 4:4: Often envied by others.
2. While trying to be successful we must learn to be content with what our labor provides, 1 Tim. 6:6-8.
F. Fulfilling Desire, Eccl. 6:7-9.
1. When our desire rules us we are never satisfied.
2. “Bird in the hand worth two in the bush.”
3. Desires must be godly; controlled by contentment, Phil. 4:11-13 (sufficiency, enough).
III. THINGS NEEDED TO BE HAPPY IN LIFE.
A. Fear & Obey God, Eccl. 12:13 (Acts 10:34-35).
B. Address Sin in God’s Way. (Acts 2:41-42)
1. Sin destroys happiness by destroying one’s relationship with God (the source of joy).
2. Despair of sin turned into joy of salvation, Acts 16:27, 34.
C. Seek First the things of God, Matt. 6:33 (1 Pet. 3:10-12).
D. Pray Often, 1 Jno. 5:14 (Confidence in prayer; power, Phil. 4:4-7).
E. Count Your Blessings, 1 Tim. 6:7-8.
-Measure the good things in life & rejoice in them.
F. Patient Faith (“wait on the Lord”), Isa. 40:27-31. Always trust God – He always cares for you (1 Pet. 5:7; Heb. 13:5-6).
God wants you to be happy as you live for heaven. Be happy by obeying God & trusting Him in all things; walk with God, Psa. 128.