“But the righteous shall be glad; they shall exult before God; they shall be jubilant with joy!” (Psalm 68:3, ESV)

All fairy tales seem to end with that wonderful line, “And they lived happily ever after.” As a child, we could read that line and then contentedly close our storybook, knowing everything in their lives would now be perfect. We love happy endings—especially our own.

Everyone wants to be happy. Some think all is well when life is good and they can enjoy the many pleasures that money can buy. This means that circumstance, rather than any inner quality, defines one’s happiness.

Philosopher and author Eric Hoffer succinctly stated, “You can never get enough of what you don’t need to make you happy.” Life is not a fairy tale, and we will never own enough “things” to insure we will live in a perpetual state of happiness. Materialism is not the answer.

If money cannot buy happiness, then how do we attain it?

Helen Keller wisely stated:

“Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.”

Albert Schweitzer expressed a similar thought when he said:

“I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.”

For the Christian, that worthy purpose is giving our lives in service to God.

We begin our journey to joy when we become a new creation in Christ (II Corinthians 5:17). Our priorities change. We no longer ask, “What can I get out of life?” Instead, we offer, “What can I give with my life? What can I do to please God? How can I make a difference in my world?” As we answer these questions, we will find a new focus and seek things of eternal value.

God’s Word provides many insights on how to attain true contentment and happiness in our lives. Look at the words of I Thessalonians 5:16-18.

“Always be joyful. Keep on praying. No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus” (NLT).

If we can follow the instructions in these three verses—to maintain a joyful attitude, to make prayer a part of our daily lives, and to remain thankful in all of life’s circumstances—then we are well on our way to living a happy life.

In his wisdom, Solomon summed up quite well the source of all happiness.

Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good, and blessed is he who trusts in the LORD. (Proverbs 16:20, ESV)

The secret to true happiness does not come from what we possess but Who we know.

Thank You, Lord, for allowing me to find true happiness the day I found You. My contentment does not come from an abundance of material goods. Instead, my joy comes from serving You. I praise You and thank You for this!



Mary enjoys traveling, meeting new people, and spending time with old friends. Although directionally challenged, she would rather take the back roads with their discoveries than the boredom of the interstate.

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