Everyone wants to be happy – all of us. It’s something we all have in common – the desire for happiness. The American Declaration of Independence goes so far as to enshrine the pursuit of happiness as an inalienable human right. Most people would argue that the pursuit of happiness is a subjective endeavour, something that means different things to different people.
But the Bible gives us a clear picture of where we can find true and lasting happiness. In Jeremiah 6:16 (NKJV) God Himself tells us “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls”.
God challenges us to ask for the old paths, the tried and true avenues that guarantee our pursuit of happiness. This isn’t a pipe dream but a tangible experience that is within reach. So, what are some biblical methods to find happiness?
One of the most powerful methods of pursuing happiness recorded in the Bible is found in Proverbs 16:20. Here, the Bible says, “And whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he”. One of the surest ways to pursue happiness is learning how to trust God, especially when times are tough.
Learning to trust God, even in our darkest moments, can bring us happiness. It’s easy to be happy when the sun is shining and everything is rosy but it is almost impossible to find joy in the dark and trying times.
But the Bible promises us that if we choose to trust God, regardless of our circumstances, we will find happiness in the most unexpected places. The story of Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20 gives us a glimpse of how we can experience this.
At the apex of his prosperity, King Jehoshaphat was forced to reckon with a formidable threat to his nation’s security and sovereignty. Overnight he found himself facing, perhaps the single biggest crisis of his rule, with no viable solution to his problem. A huge army was on its way to attack him and his people.
They had no chance against this great enemy alliance. Instead of looking to himself or any other human source for comfort and wisdom, Jehoshaphat turned to God. Pleading with God in prayer, Jehoshaphat asked for help and God delivered them without hesitation.
In 2 Chronicles 20:15 God says to Jehoshaphat and his people “Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s”. Then God continues to reassure them in verse 17 with these words;
“You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you. O Judah and Jerusalem! Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you”.
They trusted God. And Jehoshaphat demonstrates their trust in a most remarkable way. So confident are they in God’s promises to protect them and give them victory, that when the army sets out the following morning, they send an entire choir of singing men in front of them.
It’s an almost unbelieveable story. A small army, going out to battle against a much larger force, and their vanguard is made up of musicians. You see, in those days armies included a band of musicians whose responsibility was to sing a victory song after the battle was won.
But Jehoshaphat and his people fully trust God. They are sure that He’s going to protect them and give them the victory. So Jehoshaphat has the musicians sing the victory song even before the battle is fought. That’s how much they trust God.
As they march into battle, they sing praises to God – victory praises. Praise is an outpouring of a joyful heart. The army of Judah, marching out to battle, with the odds stacked against them, find themselves in possession of the purest form of happiness, the kind that spills out in song, a victory song.
They know that God is with them and will give them victory – and that’s exactly what happened. Now, you might be tempted to dismiss this story because it sounds too good to be true. But don’t do that. Because, truth is often more surreal than fiction, and in this case, the sense of surrealness comes from our inability to grasp how such an experience is even possible.
When we’re faced with a looming crisis our natural response is fight or flight. But the Bible tells us that when we turn to God in prayer, when we choose to trust God with our battles, when we choose to lean on God for solutions, He can give us a different response.
The Bible describes this gift of joy and peace in Isaiah 61:3 where it says, “To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness”.
We all want to be happy, especially when we’re facing challenges and while our own solutions for finding consistent happiness can often prove elusive or ineffective. The Bible promises us that the happiness God offers us is tangible, all we need to do is open our hearts to Him and lay hold of it.
If you would like to learn more about prayer so that you can find the real source of happiness and face the future with hope and courage, then I’d like to recommend our free Bible Study guide that we have for you today: “The Secret of Happiness.”
These outstanding Bible Study guides will share the principles of a fulfilled life and help you draw closer to God.