Happiness Ps.144:15 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO 

There is a great frustration in relationships with others and in marriage that is often manifested when you try to make the other person happy.  Have you ever done something to make another person happy only to be disappointed when what you attempted didn’t work?  That’s more frustrating than being accused for not attempting anything at all.

Today we are going to deal with the subject of happiness and try to find out what the Bible says about being happy and about making someone else happy, particularly your spouse or a really close friend or relative.

The world says things like the following about making another person happy. This is from WikiHow on How to Make Someone Happy.

  • Practice random acts of kindness
  • Be emotionally supportive
  • Cheer them up when they are down
  • Be trustworthy by showing that you can be counted on daily
  • Make them laugh
  • Be a good listener
  • Spend quality time with them
  • Give a gift
  • Make them feel appreciated

Those things are definitely nice things to do.  And they shouldn’t be neglected when this sermon is finished.  But have you ever done any of them [or maybe all of them] only to find that they didn’t work?  Old so and so still wasn’t happy.  A pastor friend and I were talking about marriages falling apart and he said that he recently counseled with a woman who was going to leave her husband for another man because she was sure that her new beau was going to make her happy.

Is that kind of attitude Biblical?  Does the Bible place on you “making the other person happy” as a yoke in marriage?  Where in your wedding vows did either spouse take on the responsibility for the other spouse’s happiness?  Or where in the Bible did God tell you that if your spouse wasn’t making you happy anymore, you had His permission to leave?  The answer to all of these questions is negative!

Often when we find ourselves trying to make someone else happy, we find that the problem is not us but them.  Of course, you don’t want to admit that or tell them that.  So, let’s turn this around and look at it another way.  Let’s look at happiness from your perspective.  What we find when we read the Bible is that when you aren’t happy, you don’t need to look to your spouse or your close friend or family member as the culprit.  “No doubt the trouble is with you,” as old Bob Jones, Sr. used to say.  You need to check yourself.

Now you can go to the internet and try some of those “feel good” solutions to make yourself happy.  You can go to WikiHow and find out How to Be Happy.

  • Be optimistic
  • Have something to look forward to, always
  • Follow your gut
  • Make enough money to meet your basic needs
  • Stay close to friends and family
  • Have deep, meaningful conversations
  • Find happiness in the job you have now
  • Smile
  • Forgive
  • Make friends

And when you do those things, you are going to find out, just like the rest of the world has discovered, that those things only provide temporary happiness and in some cases they become the cause of more unhappiness.  They do not provide God’s happiness.

So, why don’t you go to the Bible [that’s a novel idea] and find out what truly makes a Christian happy.  According to Psalms and Proverbs, Happy is he:

  • Whose God is the Lord – Ps 144:15
  • Whose hope is in the Lord his God – Ps 146:5
  • That findeth wisdom and getteth understanding – Prov 3:13
  • That hath mercy on the poor – Prov 14:21
  • Who trusteth in the Lord – Prov 16:20
  • That feareth alway – Prov 28:14
  • That keepeth the law – Prov 29:18

Now that is quite a different list than the ones we have seen from the world.  You and I need to be aware that the world’s ideas of being happy are contrary to God’s ideas.  And unless you have occupied yourself with the things on God’s list, don’t discount them.  Prove them.

You need to make sure that the God who saved you is also the Lord of your life.  Your hope and trust need to be in him.  You need to learn the fear of the Lord, become wise and understanding, obey God and have mercy on others.  And when you do these things, then you are going to truly be happy.  And once your happiness is in the Lord, you are going to realize something.  YOU cannot make other people happy – not for long any way.  They’ll have to find their happiness in the same things that God has prescribed for your happiness.

And you’ll know that your happiness is real and lasting because it will be manifest at the most unexpected times:

  • When you are serving others like Jesus did – Jn 13:17
  • When you forgo a pleasure for the sake of a brother in Christ – Rom 14:22
  • When you patiently endure suffering affliction – Jas 5:11
  • When you suffer for righteousness sake – 1 Pet 3:14
  • When you are reproached for the name of Christ – 1 Pet 4:14

The kind of happiness that is present during these times is the kind of happiness that only the Lord can give you or anyone else and it is much better than the happiness that the world seeks and promises through amusement, entertainment and relationships.