A happy life is all about control and contentment. Unfortunately, our society pushes excess to the extreme. Consequently, as we succumb to peer pressure and advertising, we chase the American Dream (or fantasy, as it were) and become overweight, unhealthy, stressed out, strapped with credit debt, and immersed in the escapism of drugs, alcohol and sex, all symptomatic of impulse living – and we’re still miserable.
The lack of self-control and contentment with what we have been blessed with is a happiness killer. Satan keeps telling us to live the high life because we deserve it, we need it, and we won’t be “somebody” if we don’t have it. Yet, Paul reveals that the secret of happy success in life has no relationship to self-indulgence or things: “for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content” (Philippians 4:11). How did he do that? The only way anyone can: knowing Jesus!
Paul had no fear (Luke 12:4-5) and no worries (Matthew 6:31-33); he had Christ to the degree that all of his being was guided by the Lord (Galatians 2:20). The ancient solution to this age-old problem would be expressed by King David like this: “I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread” (Psalm 37:25). You will not suffer for what we need; God will take care of you.
Ordering our lives to be God’s servant involves self-control (Galatians 5:23). Add to your knowledge self-control (2 Peter 1:6) and count your many blessings and it will become illuminating to see what God has done. This is the happy life.