“Happy are those who long to be just and good, for they shall be completely satisfied. Happy are the kind and merciful, for they shall be shown mercy. Happy are those whose hearts are pure, for they shall see God. Happy are those who strive for peace—they shall be called the sons of God. Happy are those who are persecuted because they are good, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs” (Matthew 5:6-10, The Living Bible).
According to the Secret Society of Happy People (sohp.com) August is "Happiness Happens Month" (formerly known as "Admit You’re Happy Month." Saturday, August 8th is "Happiness Happens Day." According to the web site, the purposes are to: (1) Recognize and express happiness, and (2) Don’t rain on other people’s parades. To celebrate these objectives, people are encouraged throughout the month to wear silver sunglasses, donate their silver coins, and hand out silver wrapped Hershey's Kisses. Why silver? Because, "not-so-secretly happy people have a way of finding the silver lining in even the darkest clouds."
Silver linings and chocolate kisses are nice. But how do you find happiness when life is truly hard, when you are in the midst of serious persecution, when the Heaven's seem closed and it feels as if your prayers "bounce off the ceiling?" In other words, what source can you turn to when life inevitably rains hard and long on your parade?
Psalm 33:21-22 (TLB) provides some insight: "No wonder we are happy in the Lord! For we are trusting him. We trust his holy name. Yes, Lord, let your constant love surround us, for our hopes are in you alone." And Psalms 9:10b states, "For you have never yet forsaken those who trust in you."
Life is hard. Sorrow comes. Trials happen. Hearts get broken. Disappointments pile up. But, for those who truly, deeply, steadily trust in the Lord, a deep abiding peace and joy flows beneath the surface of life's churning waters.
Feeling happy is fine as long as it's not artificially induced. Standing firm on the promises of God no matter what yields true happiness when hardships pass. I'll take the joy of the Lord over silver sunglasses any day!