If people are bound with chains and trapped by the cords of affliction, God tells them what they have done and how arrogantly they have transgressed. He opens their ears to correction and insists they repent from iniquity. If they serve Him obediently, they will end their days in prosperity and their years in happiness. Job 36:8-11 HCSB
People are looking for happiness–in all the wrong places–and when they find what they think is happiness, it is short-lived and leaves them frustrated and oppressed. When most are asked what makes them happy, the first words that come out of their mouths is having money, then love.
If people need money and love to make them happy, we can get a better understanding as to why there are so many miserable people in the world.
Factual understanding: 1% of all Americans hold the wealth of country. These are the big businesses that rake in money hand over fist, pay minimum wages, and often ship manufacturing jobs overseas. This is the Wall Street Gang and in many cases–upon close inspection and looking at their lifestyles–they are not happy because they are obsessed with obtaining more money. They think living lavishly makes them somebody and when in actuality, they are somebody without the frills.
On the other hand–there are many people who have little money, but have learned to be happy with what they have and they are generous to a fault, compassion always reigning in their hearts, and they know how to enjoy the little things in life.
When it comes to love–far too many people have confused lust with love and when feelings wane–and there is no more interest in the person–the lust having been satisfied and now they turn to other people who are looking for lust–not love–and start the cycle all over again.
At the same time, there are people who understand that real love begins with loving self, loving God, receiving His love and loving others. They don’t need someone hanging onto to them to know love, they are loving to all–considering what’s best for all they meet. They know how to nurture relationships, listen to others and genuinely care. True happiness is a mindset that is developed from loving self.
Now, getting back to Job and his situation in life. Although he had lost everything (materially) as well as his children, he never gave up on God--even when his so-called friends and wife encouraged him to do so. His reward for obedience and steadfast faith in God? Restoration of all he had lost and even more. He may have experienced some sad moments as we all do, but he was able to keep moving forward to receive from God.
No matter what happens to us in life, if we are open to correction, repent of anything that harms others or self, and obey God, He will keep His Word and we can end our days with prosperity and live our years (however many we have) being happy.
“Because I’m happy” is a popular refrain in a song, but it also needs to be a deeply-rooted attitude in the hearts of all Believers because we have love and we know that God is always more faithful to us than we might be to Him, so we can count on Him to provide our every need. And when we take the time to please Him, He gives us the desires of our hearts.