If I were to ask you the question, “What would make you happy?” what would your answer be? I’m sure the answers would be different from everyone. Would it be a new car, house, more money, less work time, a better job or maybe financial independence? We are told that this is the stuff of the American dream, so how about it, what are you looking for?
The Power to Give Happiness
If we are to find true happiness we should first want to eliminate or diminish everything that cannot give it to us. There was a wise man in the Bible who did this very thing and what he found is very interesting. His journey can save us a lot of trouble and wasted time searching for the same answers. Solomon was the wisest man that ever lived according to the Bible, his wisdom was renown and the fame of it spread throughout the whole world. He was King in Israel so he had plenty of money and time on his hands to do what he wished. Sound like fun? Well, let’s look at it and see if it really was.
“…till I might see what was that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life.” Eccles. 2:3
Solomon wanted to find, by experience, the things he could do that would make him happy. He launched into a lifestyle of complete abandon and recklessness. Let’s look at some of the things he got involved in.
“I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure…” Eccles. 2:1
Solomon decided that the party life is what he would try first. He had great banquets and lavish get togethers with his friends and of course there was drinking, laughter and pleasures of all kinds. After a time of this he came to a conclusion about it all.
“and, behold, this also is vanity.” Eccles. 2:1
The word vanity, that he uses in many places, means empty. Many have come to the same and right conclusion that living a party life gets old and empty and all that is left is empty pockets and empty hearts. Solomon decided to go up in the scale and get into material possessions and wealth like no one else had.
“I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards:  I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits:  I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees:  I got me servants and maidens, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of great and small cattle above all that were in Jerusalem before me:  I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts.” Eccles. 2:4-8
Now this is the stuff of the American dream if I ever saw it. How many times have people said, “If I only had wealth I would be happy.” Seminars abound (that make money for the teachers) which tell us we can be rich and live the good life. Is this true or really a deception in disguise? Let’s see where it took this wise man.
“Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.” Eccles. 2:11
Emptiness is Exposed
Again, he looked at everything he had and it made him feel very empty inside. Beside this, it vexed or disturbed his spirit (emotions) in a negative way. We can see this today in the Hollywood stars who live miserable lives. Did their wealth make them happy? Solomon found himself in the very same position of life. In looking at all he had accomplished he realized when he died someone else would inherit all he had done. What if that person spent it all on a wild lifestyle and all his labor would be gone. He looked at death itself and decided, “The wise die just like the fool.” When it all came to him he got to the place where he hated life.
“Therefore I hated life; because the work that is wrought under the sun is grievous unto me: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit.  Yea, I hated all my labour which I had taken under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me.  And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool? yet shall he have rule over all my labour wherein I have laboured, and wherein I have shewed myself wise under the sun. This is also vanity.” Eccles. 2:17-19
We could continue through this book of Ecclesiastes and see that he went on to build a personal zoo, increased in horses, servants, and even his religious accomplishment of building the first permanent temple in Jerusalem. How could it be that a man who had it all would develop such a fatalistic attitude toward life and the things he possessed? The answer lies in the title of this section. “THE POWER TO GIVE HAPPINES”. We must see, if we are to find true happiness, that “things” have not been given the ability to make us happy.
When God created the world he didn’t give wood the ability to satisfy the soul of man. He didn’t give steel, plastic (appliances or cards), stone, paper, electronic devices, television images, video games, parties, pleasures or a host of other inanimate objects and experiences the power to satisfy or make us feel complete. Think about it. When you are down and out and life seems empty (vanity) do you go out and hug your car for relief? Do you talk to your refrigerator, stroke your television or hug a tree? I hope not. We don’t do this because we know in our hearts that it would be a waste of time. They simply cannot satisfy or make us feel happy.
Real Satisfaction and Happiness
In reading the entire book of Ecclesiastes we see a man who had it all and finally came to the right conclusion about happiness. He gives it to us at the very end of the book.
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.  For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” Eccles. 12:13-14
WOW! What a simple but profound answer. There is one thing alone that can bring happiness. A relationship with God! A relationship with God is the highest relationship that mankind can experience. I’ve always said that happiness is not found in what you have but who you’re with.
“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Hebrews 13:5
Has your car, job, girlfriend, boyfriend or money ever let you down? Probably. Jesus Christ will never let you down. He is a faithful friend who will stick with you through the thick and the thin. True satisfaction comes with having him with you every day.
“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” John 6:35
“In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.  He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.  (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive…” John 7:37-39
The disciples of Jesus heard these words but they really didn’t understand until Jesus was crucified and buried. All of their hopes were dashed into pieces and they were depressed. But when they were filled with the Spirit of God they received great joy.
“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:1-4
God has this same experience for each of us. When he comes inside he gives peace and joy. He satisfies the soul with his powerful Spirit. No longer do we have to lean on anger, pride, possessions, pleasures or other things to make us happy and prop us up. The experience of happiness is for all people today. God is giving his Spirit to all men that will come to him. THINGS cannot satisfy, Jesus can and will satisfy.
Happiness is not only for others, it is for you too! You can experience the joy of living and the peace of knowing that your future is in HIS hands.
“And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” John 10:28
When Jesus is in your life he makes it safe and secure. You see, when we experience a relationship with God, we have a guide to healthy relationships with others. Things are put in the proper perspective when we first experience HIM!
Thank you for going through this lesson. There is help and hope. If you enjoyed this lesson and it ministered to you let me know, your comments are very important to me. If it did tell a friend! If you would like to talk to someone about this or any other issue please let us know and we will give you a way to contact them. Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you soon at Focus on Freedom!
Focus On Freedom
Welcome to this section of Focus On Freedom. This lesson is intended to help with a very important area of life, “FINDING HAPPINESS”. All around us we see unhappiness. We live in a very prosperous and affluent society and yet many are discontented and uneasy. Why is this? Well, we are going to look into the Bible the Word of God to see what it says about the true source of happiness and how we can find it.