What Makes Us Happy?

During the Christmas season, I was watching a movie called Arthur Christmas which is about how a little girl is left without a present on Christmas Eve and Santa’s son makes every effort that the little girl will have her present by Christmas morning. The story was very touching, during the end credits there was a song called “Make Someone Happy” which struck a chord in my heart and I began to wonder what is that which makes us happy?

Does having money gives us happiness? I remember a commercial for MasterCard which said: “There are some things money can’t buy, for everything else there is MasterCard”. That just hits the base a little too close for comfort right? What does my favorite book have to say about it? One of the richest and the wisest man of all time, King Solomon says in

Ecclesiastes 5:10

“Those who love money will never have enough. How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness!”

This guy was the richest guy of all time and he literally had everything he needed at his disposal. Why didn’t he have true happiness? I could go and ask all of the world’s billionaires if they are happy being rich and while I am not sure what their responses would be, I can only imagine their greatest fear would be to lose it all in a minute.

Does staying optimistic in spite of your circumstances make you happy? Maybe, for a bit depending on circumstances, but then again there will come a time when we will be frustrated. Does being healthy and being able to do it all make you happy? Of course, it does. I would love to be healthy and to be able to do all my work by myself, but what happens when I get sick? Will I be able to have the same level of happiness I had while I was healthy? Does being with family make you happy? Yes if you’ve been away for a long time and go back to see them, after a few days you’d be back to normal. How about being wise enough to make the right decisions? Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived and he says in

Ecclesiastes 1:18

“The greater my wisdom, the greater my grief.
    To increase knowledge only increases sorrow.”

It is kind of getting a little depressing now because happiness seems to be out of reach no matter whatever I do. So how can we have true happiness? I was reading my Bible about this trying to make sense about true happiness when I came upon Genesis 1:27

“So God created human beings in his own image.
    In the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.”

Kids are usually a splitting image of their mother or father. So if God created us in His own image, why aren’t we happy? The scripture says that God put the breath of life into Adam to become a living person. We have a life-giving spirit which passes on from generation to generation which ultimately ties us to God. But still, why aren’t we happy if we are tied by the breath of life to the Creator?

The answer is SIN. Adam disobeyed God and the penalty for the disobedience was death. God’s life-giving spirit could not live in a body consumed with sin. King David says in

Psalm 51:5

“For I was born a sinner—
    yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.”

Everyone born in this world has to die one day and be separated from God. We try to fill the true happiness void which I would term as a “God-shaped hole” in our hearts with the things which we think will fit and make us happy. The puzzle can only be completed if all the pieces are aligned perfectly. Only God can fill the void in our hearts and give us TRUE HAPPINESS.

Imagine a child seeing their mom or dad from far off and start to run to them with arms open and their parents run to them with joy with their sole focus on them. God wants to run to me with the same passion, but I do not want to do that but have tried to replace Him with the things which don’t matter. Just as we cannot bear to be away from our kids, God cannot bear to be away from us either. He loves us so very much and wants us to come and be with Him. In fact, God loved us so much that He came down to bring us closer to Him through Jesus.

Imagine a prisoner awaiting a death sentence and the warden comes in and says that you’re free to go for someone else is taking your place, how elated would the prisoner feel? Jesus came into the world to show God’s love and He proved God’s love by taking away my sins on His shoulders and died a gruesome death as an innocent man. God in His mighty power raised Him from the dead so through Him, I can have eternal life. Jesus died taking my sins and punishment on Himself and in exchange for my sins, He gave me eternal life that God intended for me so I can be truly Happy with Him.

I might have all the wealth in the world, be healthy, be wise, be on top of everyone else, but without God I can never be truly Happy and without His salvation, I cannot even be close to Him. The only source of Happiness comes from the Lord and He alone is the source of all Joy.

So do you want to be truly Happy? Come and meet my Father who loves you just as much as He loves me.

David Soudamalla
Global AIM Ministry Associate serving Asian Indians in the San Diego area

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