Summary: Three keys to happiness
“The Secret of Happiness”
April 18, 2018 -Andy Grossman
Someone said one time that everyone is about as happy as they want to be. I don’t know who said it or where I heard it – but I never forgot those words, “You are as happy as you want to be.” My reaction was probably about like yours- “BALONY! I want to be happier than I am right now!”
So many of us are disillusioned and unhappy and depressed. “Gloom, despair and agony on me!” the Hee Haw gang sang. And we drink ourselves to sleep or medicate ourselves to sleep so we can wake up and do it all over again the next day. I remember a time in my life, shortly after coming home from the military, that I literally had to drink myself to sleep every night. I was burning with anger in my life and I couldn’t sleep until I drank a couple of Colt .45’s (a strong beer) before I went to sleep or passed out. Thankfully I exchanged that beer for a Bible before long. But many people live like that. They need alcohol or marijuana or pills or sleep aids or prescription drugs of one kind of another just to sleep. Then they start all over again the next day. It is an endless cycle.
We are all in a mad search for happiness, aren’t we? Some of you just got back from vacationing in Hawaii or Disneyland or the Caymans or someplace that you thought would make you happy. But it didn’t – or it didn’t last. You had to go back home.
You go fishing or golfing or watch TV or go to the movies to find something to lift your spirits. Some think the secret is in wealth and if they just had enough money they would be happy – but the lives of the rich deny that theory. They are some of the most unhappy people in the world. You can’t buy happiness.
The world is in a crazy search for happiness. They think it may be in marijuana or meth or heroin. It isn’t. Those things only cause more pain. Some people turn to sex in their quest for happiness. Pornography is a huge industry. Happiness isn’t there, so some try deviant sexual experiences. They think homosexuality might be the way since the opposite sex didn’t do it for them. Others are led to violence - and rape and assaults are increasing. We hear about people capturing young girls or boys and making them sex slaves. Some of these victims have escaped after years in captivity and tell terrible tales of misery.
All these things are symptoms of a problem - The problem of unhappiness. To what lengths would you go to find happiness? What would you do if I told you I have a pill or a drink or could tell you about something you could do that would make you truly happy for the rest of your life? How much would you pay for it? What would you give for it? How much would you sacrifice for it? If I knew that secret – I could get very rich. I could have anything I wanted. I could make people do anything I asked them to. And some are peddling that lie.
Paul wrote, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Philippians 4:12
Paul said he knew what it was to be in need. He knew what it was to be in want. He also said he know what it was to live in abundance – in plenty. And he learned a secret. He learned the secret of being content. Isn’t that another word for happiness? When I am content – I am happy. Paul learned the secret of happiness in any and every situation. So does he go on and tell us the secret? No! I would have liked an item by item list of stuff that I could do – but no! It isn’t there. We have to dig for it! We have to work at it. Paul hid those great truths in the things he wrote and we have to discover them ourselves.
“We all have about as much happiness as we choose.” Here is where we lose a whole lot of people. They don’t want to work at it. It is easier to wallow in misery and pain than it is to search for the solution. It is kind of like someone trying to sleep but they are too tired to get up and turn the light off. We cry, “I can’t do it!” So the next thing Paul writes is, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)