Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of June 4, 2006

1 Kings 4:20 Judah and Israel were many, as the sand which is by the sea in multitude, eating and drinking, and making merry.
1 Kings 10:8 Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom.

Is happiness a choice or does it result from favorable conditions in our lives? Is happiness the purpose of life? These are questions I have asked myself because it feels good to be happy. Often we are happiest when those we are close to are happy.

Paul tells us that sometimes happiness is a choice. In Philippians 4:11, he says, “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” So he had decided to be content which I assume means he decided to be happy in every situation and circumstance that the Lord allowed in his life.

Sometimes happiness is a condition. That was the situation with the people of Israel in the above passages after Solomon was established on the throne of Israel. The nation was at peace after many years of war. The people were at rest after many years of traveling and then of fighting. They were free from the tyranny of foreign rulers. They had a wise king. They had it made!

Most of us make decisions that we assume will make us happy. However, I am convinced that if we make right decisions we will end up being happy; but that if we make decisions based on our desire to be happy, we may end up very unhappy. I was recently asked if I was happy because of a major decision that I had made with regard to my service for the Lord. I have to admit that I wouldn’t have made the decision that I did if happiness had been the motivator. However, I can honestly say today that I am happy I made the decision even though I am not serving the Lord in the way that I once thought that I would be serving Him.

Some people reject God’s salvation because they think their friends and family will be unhappy with them if they truly trust the Lord. They think that will make them unhappy. However, I can assure you that the person who is happy is the person who has settled accounts with God and who knows that he has been righteously forgiven by God..

Some people pick their churches based on what will make them happy. They want the right circle of friends and they want the right programs. These things are all good unless the church is not faithful to the Word of God. We should pick our churches based on what pleases God and not us, and then when we realize that we have pleased God, we will be happy.

One of the happiest days in our lives is the day when we are born again or saved. Passing from death unto life should make anyone happy and that is just what happens when we believe that God sent His son to die in our place (John 5:24). Before we are saved, we are not physically dead but we are dead in trespasses and sins. Faith quickens us or gives us spiritual life. (See Ephesians 2: 1-8). When a person trusts the Lord, I like to sing:

Happy day! Happy day! When Jesus washed my sins away.
He taught me how to watch and pray and live rejoicing every day.
Happy day, Happy day! When Jesus washed my sins away!

The happiness that comes when we are first saved is the result of making right decisions. We obviously decided that eternity was more important than time, and that God was more important than friends and family. We decided that the Word of God could be trusted which enabled us to trust in the Lord. However, our happiness after we are saved is also a condition because now we are prepared for eternity and we have a wise King. We have it made! If you have never experienced this kind of happiness, it would be good to make it the purpose of your life.

Bruce Collins

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