What It Really Means to Be Happy
By Jennifer Waddle
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. Psalm 1:1-4 NKJV
To be considered blessed or prosperous in our culture, is to be affluent in wealth, success, or notoriety. In Psalm 1, however, the Hebrew word for blessed is esher, which means internal happiness and contentment. It has nothing to do with worldly achievements, but rather peace and joy that is rooted in God alone.
The promise of blessedness comes for those who find delight in the Word of the Lord, who meditate on it day and night. Of course, we can’t spend every minute reading the Bible, but we can hide the Word in our hearts and carry the Scriptures with us through every season. It’s not about head-knowledge, but rather heart-knowledge, filling our souls with words of life.
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
As people everywhere strive to find happiness, we can look to the Scriptures and know what it really means to be happy.
1. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
Delighting in God simply means that we spend time with Him through prayer, Bible study, and worship. For in His presence is fulness of joy. (Psalm 16:11) Not only do we find unexplainable joy when communing with God, we are attuned to His good, pleasing, and perfect will. The desires of our hearts align with His purpose, which produces in us the genuine happiness we long for.
2. Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. Isaiah 12:3
There is absolutely no greater joy than that which is found in the salvation of Jesus Christ. Delivered by the blood of the Lamb and set apart for His glory, we are liberated from sin and shame. No amount of the world’s “happy” can outshine that!
Jesus is a life-giving well, offering Living Water, that we might never thirst again. True happiness is found only in the Savior of the world.
3. He who heeds the word wisely will find good, and whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he. Proverbs 16:20
The old hymn, Trust and Obey, reminds us that there is no other way to be happy, than to put our trust in the Lord and walk in obedience. Unwavering trust leads to peace in every circumstance. Wind or rain, drought or storm, happy is he who trusts in the Lord. (Psalm 40:4)
“Happy” is promised when we plant ourselves firmly on the foundation of God’s Word. Like flourishing trees, planted by streams of water, we will be fruitful and fulfilled, rooted in the best kind of happiness there is.