There is probably not any sane person alive that does not want to be happy. It may well be a universal desire. Is happiness, though, an accurate descriptor of the state of humankind, for the most part, today?
The vast majority would probably agree that there is very little to be happy about today as tensions intensify between nations and between the citizens of them. The great irony of it is that the more one tries to grab hold of happiness for oneself, the greater the turmoil that is generated. We can see and perhaps have felt the effects of racial or any other type of hatred or felt the near panic induced by an explosion of relational dysfunction. It all is more real than any evil fiction we could have thought of a decade ago.
Why, when people want happiness so much, is it seemingly impossible to attain? The prophet Jeremiah wrote, “O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps” (Jeremiah 10:23). Attaining happiness through our own self-devised reasonings cannot happen. Emphatically, apart from our Maker, we do not know how to get there from here.
The only way to true happiness lies in looking beyond ourselves and humbly yielding our lives and will to God. “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, and He delights in his way” (Psalms 37:23). God is the author of happiness and of the way of life that produces it. In simple terms, God’s way is the way of “give,” and man’s way is the way of “get.” Though it defies mere human logic, those who come to embrace God’s way of give will literally be able to overcome hate and to come to practice self-control when all consciousness of God is being lost around us.
Happiness does not consist of having no difficulties or disappointments, which are common to all people. “Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the LORD upholds him with His hand. I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging bread. He is ever merciful, and lends; And his descendants are blessed” (Psalm 37:24-26). We can be very old or sick or have many various trials at any age, and yet those who strive to live their lives as directed by God will be upheld through it all. They won’t give up or have to beg for food because of God’s blessings upon them.
Happiness comes to those who love God and delight in His “give” way of life.