Happy is the one whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God (Psalm 146:5).
We want to be happy. America’s Declaration of Independence claims that, along with life and liberty, we have the God-endowed right to pursue this thing called happiness. And pursue it we do.
We humans will work hard. We will pay big money. We will cheat and steal. We will poison our minds and ruin our health in the hunt for happiness. We will break laws and relationships to gain the prize. We will defy the commands of our Creator if we think it will make us happy.
If we cannot find happiness in our job, we will try a different one. If we cannot find happiness in our marriage, we think about leaving it. A new car, a new house, a new set of clothes? If we think it will make us happy, we want it. And sometimes we get it.
But to our dismay, true and lasting happiness is not included in the package. It breaks, it wears out, it disappoints us. We grow tired of it. People die. We are not happy. The days may come when we are not only not happy with the things in life—we are not happy with life itself. Hopeless and helpless is a distressing state to be in.
The question, “Happy now?” is usually a rebuke. It comes after a person has rejected guidance and is now living with a mess. It is a question that God can ask the human race every day. It is a question that we must ask
ourselves. And our answer must be honest.
If we look for happiness anywhere but in our Creator and Savior God, we will be gravely disappointed. Happy is the one whose help is the God of Jacob. This is the God of a free and faithful promise. “He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea and everything in them—he remains faithful forever.” So the psalmist writes in the next verse.
This One will never forget. He will never change. He will never fail. He is our only hope. He can make us happy. He can give us gifts that bring happiness. He can use the things and the people in this world to give us a foretaste of everlasting happiness. The birth of a child? The love of a loved one? A battle won, a prize gained, a challenge overcome? The Creator can use any of these to bring us some happiness.
He has never promised that our life will always go the way we want it to. He has warned about sorrow and disappointment. He will not always keep us from sickness. We must expect plans to fail, bodies to grow feeble. And death. We must expect to die. But that does not cause our happiness to evaporate. Our hope is solid. It is built upon a Rock— not sand. Death has been conquered. Angels watch over us. Everything must turn out for our good.
We win. We can be happy now.
We pray: Lord Jesus, your apostle assures us with words from the Holy Spirit: “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Allow our hope and happiness to always rest upon that love. Amen
Written by Pastor Paul Ziemer, WELS National Civilian Chaplain
and Liaison to the Military, Cape Coral, Florida
Provided by WELS Ministry to the Military