Seeking True Hope and Happiness

Psalm 146:5-10

About this time each year, I start to feel a bit sorry for myself. The weather is usually dreary and cold. The excitement of the holidays and the promise of a new year have passed. I have not made any progress on my resolutions since the first week of January. Valentine’s Day did not live up to its hype, and it will be weeks until the first glimmer of spring. In times like these, I start to focus on what I can do to be a happier person—exercise, eat healthier, be nicer to my spouse, read more books, agree to do more volunteer work, start journaling, stop checking social media, keep my closet organized—the list goes on and on. These activities are great in the short run, but over the years, I have learned that they are not long-term solutions. My focus must shift to something deeper.

The Psalmist says, The person whose help is the God of Jacob—the person whose hope rests on the LORD their God—is truly happy! (v. 5). True happiness lies not in checking items off my to-do list, or becoming more active, or imitating the person that the world tries to guilt me into mimicking. True happiness is found when I shift my focus to seek and pursue the changes that God wants to make in me.

God is the one who gives, frees, makes, straightens, loves, protects, and helps. True hope for a better tomorrow is not found in the expectations of this world but in the understanding that God acts. Our words, thoughts, insecurities, and traditions fall flat in the face of a God who is timeless across the ages. We need to surrender the thought that we are capable of generating our own happiness through “right” words or actions. It is time we get out of God’s way and let God lead.

Life Question

How am I turning to the world or my own devices for hope and happiness?

Prayer

God of action, help me rest in you. May my actions be inspired by you. May my hope and happiness be rooted in your Kingdom. Amen.

This post originally appeared in Volume 25.2 of Reflections.

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Comments

  1. Kim Bianchini says:

    Thank you for the encouraging words Noelle. May we all lok to God for our joy!