How many times have you heard, “But I just want to be happy!” – Or said it yourself?
In a song called, “Happy”‘ by Pharrell Williams he describes happiness through his lyrics. The song goes:
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof. Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth. Clap along if you know what happiness is to you. Clap along if you feel like that’s what you want to do.
Even the song can’t quite decide what happiness truly is. Here are my thoughts.
Is happiness is something we trade for. “I’ll give up (fill in the blank) in return for being happy.” But it never seems to work out, does it?
So let’s look at what makes us unhappy.
- Not getting something we want.
- Not getting to do what we want to do.
- Not having people think what we want them to think.
Anxiety comes from unmet expectations, and all three of these start with expectation – for ourselves, other people, or God.
Even when we get what we think we want, we’re not happy for long. Soon enough, we want something else.
Happy is defined as “a state of well-being, a pleasurable or satisfying experience.” It comes from the root of “haphazard.” It connotes something random. Spurious. Unpredictable.
But “joy,” which comes from the word “rejoice,” means “to feel great delight, to welcome or to be glad.” The bible uses the words “happy,” and “happiness” about thirty times, while “joy” and “rejoice” appear three hundred-plus times.
For me, joy rides on two things: love and hope. I first experienced it when I grasp that I was loved by the Heavenly Father. Knowing that I am loved gives me an irrevocable hope that I will always be loved. Personally. By the God of the universe.
We all know someone that is always putting others down. They always seem to be negative or feel the need to argue with everything you say. These kinds of people feel great anxiety as well. True happiness is what these unhappy people are missing from their life. Putting others down is how they build up their own self-esteem. This ill-gotten self-esteem is actually their way of crying out for true happiness.
The only sure cure for unhappiness and anxiety is a grateful heart. And for the Jesus follower who gets it, gratitude is the default setting of the heart.
The bible says in Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope and joy by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Have an amazing week!