Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord their God,
who made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that is in them;
who keeps faith forever;
who executes justice for the oppressed;
who gives food to the hungry. Psalm 146:5-7
Happy. What exactly does this mean? This concept of happiness has been studied for decades. Is it an economic measure? Psychological, emotional, or even a moral state? Does the accumulation of things make us happy or is it in relationships or careers that we find it? How do we find happiness in a world filled with hunger, poverty, death, disease, oppression, discrimination, corrupt leadership, hate? It seems there is not much to be happy about when we look “out there.”
Just two verses earlier, the psalmist tells us “Do not put your faith in princes, in mortals, in whom there is no help.” There is not much to be happy about in this world and our leaders will not help us find it. Great. So, where do I find this illusive happiness?
There is only one place. Beyond riots, racism, violence, destructive forces of nature; our happiness come from God. Our God, who provides justice for the oppressed, fills the hungry with good things, opens the eyes of the blind, and keeps the promises made since the beginning of time is our joy, our hope, and our ultimate happiness.
Life is never easy, sin is ever-present. But beyond the ills of the world, God remains faithful in all things. That is where happiness lay, in the arms and at the feet of Jesus.
And this? It makes everything different. We no longer live in fear or dread. There is no need to dwell on the evils around us. We see the hurting and tend to the wounded. We face the hard things of life with grace and hope, knowing that no matter the outcome, God’s hand is upon our lives. It is that relationship that brings joy and through us, God’s will is done. There is no greater happiness.
Gracious God, remind us daily that our happiness can never come from the things of this world, but solely from you. Amen.