The Keys to Happiness

Money, Fame, and Power can’t buy happiness. We learn that every year as famous people commit suicide, OD on drugs, or crash and burn in an amazing variety of ways.

I have had the privilege in the past of meeting and treating some of the wealthiest people in our nation in drug rehab! So is happiness impossible to truly have?

America is the one place where if true happiness were possible this would be the place to attain it:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”—Declaration of Independence, In Congress, July 4th 1776.

Our Congress got it right. God has endowed us with the right to life, to liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We can live as we wish. But if we want to live forever in true happiness rather than the torment rewarded to rebels against God we must give up our independence of Him in this temporary life for a more abundant life with God in Eternity.

But God didn’t intend for us to live miserably here. Jesus came to give us life and life more abundantly!

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.–John 10:10

Yet even many believers live lives of complete misery! I’ve met a lot of them that even seem like they are going to the dentist when they go to worship the LORD, study His Word, or fellowship  with other believers! Instead of lifting others up, they even seem to pull others down! Why? They don’t understand the keys to happiness! But what are the keys?

Interestingly enough, Doctors Roizen and Oz casually revealed three of the most important keys to happiness in their September 23 article titled “Can Broccoli Make You Happier”

  With apologies to the Founding Fathers: If they had mentioned “life, liberty and the pursuit of broccoli” in the Declaration of Independence, they would have covered both the pursuit of health AND happiness. New research confirms these facts: Eating more fresh produce every day (essential for good health) coincides with feeling more curious, content and purposeful (essential components of happiness). It may be that when you are happy, you eat more nutritious food — you aren’t drowning your sorrows in a sea of depressing sugar and fat.

Amazingly enough, hidden right in the middle of an article by two doctors are the three keys to happiness. Although they titled them a little differently than the Bible does, the keys remain the same! Let’s take a look:

Key #1: (“Purposeful”) A Sense of Purpose

Where there is no revelation,the people cast off restraint;
But happy is he who keeps the law.–Proverbs 29:18

Many believers have stopped listening to the Word preached, have stopped studying the Word of God, and have stopped having fellowship with other believers. So they’ve lost their vision, they aren’t doing anything that matters for Eternity. Having a specific vision for what God has for you to do will help keep you happy!

For he will not dwell unduly on the days of his life, because God keeps him busy with the joy of his heart.
Ecclesiastes 5:20

Key #2: (“Curious”) A Desire To Learn (DTL)

A fool has no delight in understanding,
But in expressing his own heart.

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter,
But the glory of kings is to search out a matter.–Proverbs 18:2; 25:2

Solomon says a person who doesn’t want to learn is a fool. But the highest accomplishment of any king or great leader is to seek to discover God’s mysteries. God has hidden so many things in His Word and in the world around us that we can discover. We are never happier than when we are learning things that are meaningful to us. Sadly, there are many even among believers that have neglected their desire to learn and developed instead a desire to gripe and a desire to gossip. They wonder why they are so miserable and not happy! If we want to be happy we must keep that desire to learn a major part of our life.

Key #3: Content

Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain  we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.1 Timothy 6:6-10

Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.–Philippians 4:11-13

We will never be truly happy until we learn simply to be satisfied with what the LORD has provided. As Paul told Timothy in 1 Timothy 6, those who are wanting stuff get “drowned” in all sorts of misery but those who are content experience a life of “great gain” meaning they gain happiness but also they gain riches for the age to come! Paul also told the Philippians he had learned to be happy even when he was “abased” (didn’t have much).

Decision Time: Are all 3 of these keys part of your daily life? Or have you lost your sense of God’s Purpose for Your Life? Have you lost that drive to discover the hidden things of God in His Word?

Are you miserable because things are not the way you think they have to be for you to be happy? Might be time to rededicate and refocus so God’s Spirit can renew.

MB<><

About Martin Britt

Martin Britt is a licensed, ordained minister, an Internationally Certified Addictions Counselor and an Internationally Certified Clinical Supervisor. Martin serves as pastor at Parkway Baptist Church. He served for more than fifteen years with Home of Grace Addiction Recovery Program in Vancleave, Mississippi and travels around the southeast conducting seminars and training in an effort to encourage discipleship in the local church.

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