How to be Happy
In the passage before us Paul is a prisoner and standing before Agrippa. But yet he makes the statement, “I think myself happy”. Looking at Paul’s situation you might not think that he would have much to be happy about but that is the point of our lesson. As we will see happiness can simply be a choice and is connected with God and doing his will.
What is Happiness?
We look at two definitions for the word happy from the American Dictionary of the English Language 1828 edition, by Noah Webster. From these two definitions we will see both the worldly view of happiness and the spiritual view of happiness.
Happy – Prosperous, having secure possessions of good.
This definition would be the worldly view. Note that it is connected with “secure possessions of good”. This is why worldly happiness never last, nothing in this world is secure.
Happy – Blessed; enjoying the presence of God, in a future life.
This definition is obviously the spiritual one. Note that it is connected with the presence of God.
What does the Bible say should make us Happy?
1) Having the Lord as your God (Psalm 144:15)
- As we saw from the spiritual definition for the word happiness, real happiness that last will be connected with God.
2) Having the fear of the Lord (Psalms 128:1-2)
- Salvation comes from a recognition of your sinful state and the judgment that God has placed on you as a sinner.
- But after salvation we still must have the fear of the Lord to truly serve him as we should.
3) Having the Lord correct you (Job 5:17)
- As we begin to grow as a child of God then we will need correction from time to time. This correction from the Lord shows that he loves and cares for us, which should bring us happiness in knowing that someone loves and cares for us.
4) Serving others (John 13:15-17)
- Jesus gives the example of washing the feet of others. This is showing that the master is not greater than the servant. There is great happiness in the service of others and in serving the Lord is great joy as well.
5) Suffering for righteousness sake (1 Peter 3:14)
- When we reach a point in our spiritual lives that we can be happy in suffering for righteousness sake that shows great spiritual maturity. It is not easy or fun but then neither is growing up and being a mature person.
As we have seen happiness comes from God and if we will do the above things we may be able to say like Paul, “I think myself happy” despite the position we find ourselves in.
How to be Happy : Handout
1) What is unique about Paul’s statement in Acts 26:2?
2) What is a worldly definition of the word happy and why is it flawed?
3) What is a spiritual definition of the word happy and what is it connected with?
4) What does the Bible say should make us Happy?