People from other countries will tell all of us we are rich. We have more now than ever. Things are more convenient. Yet people are not happy. Even as blessed as we are why does happiness seem to escape so many?
Here we see Leah, Jacob’s first wife. He went to Laban’s house and fell in love with Rachel. He worked seven years for her but when he got married her father gave him Leah instead of Rachel. He worked another seven years for her. At that time the father chose the husband for his daughter. She had no say. Leah probably felt as if her dad was trying to get rid of her while she was married to a man who loved her sister Rachel more. Jacob did grow to love Leah. She bore him children. Rachel was barren for many years.
Genesis 30: 12 And Zilpah Leah’s maid bare Jacob a second son.13 And Leah said, Happy am I, for the daughters will call me blessed: and she called his name Asher.
The pursuit of and finding happiness is done by all of us. We are truly endowed by our Creator with the right to the pursuit of happiness. Early Americans enjoyed the blessings of life. They didn’t have much but they were happy. It’s amazing at the number of Hollywood types who kill themselves. They just aren’t happy, even with all they have. Things are so streamlined today. They are easy. Why aren’t people happy? Happiness is not found in success or wealth. Popularity is not what it seems. It can be a curse. Happiness is found in the heart through the Lord.
Leah was proud to be Jacob’s wife but sad she wasn’t his choice. Her first son was named Gad which means truth. This second son was born to her handmaid. She said people would call her blessed just as Mary did in the New Testament at the announcement of Jesus being born to her. Asher means happy, and she was.
There is a local doctor named Happy. He is. Could we be so named? There’s a lot to make us sad, but if our heart is right with God we can be happy. Remember the old saying “get happy in the Lord?” It might be old terminology but we should never lose it. Proverbs tells us to trust in the Lord with all our heart. That’s truth. By trusting God we do not push away from the source of happiness. Paul had plenty. He had little. He had lots of people around him. He had hardly anyone. He said he learned to be content in whatever state he found himself. Some of our happiest times were not the times of plenty.
Our happiness doesn’t ebb and flow like the tide. Life throws us big surprises sometimes. The devil wants us to be miserable. Smiling may be hard but since we have to bear it, we might as well grin and bear it. It’s not really about smiling all the time. It’s about the twinkle in the eye and heart. Happiness won’t be found in material things, in family or friends. They may die or move away. There is one place you can always find happiness. It’s in your best friend, Jesus Christ. Leah said she was happy. She meant it. It’s not a state of mind but a deep seated state of peace in the heart. The only way to know happiness is in Jesus. Follow and obey him and be blessed—or happy. The pursuit of life is in the one who gave us eternal life. The devil cannot take that contented, settled peace from us.
Can we say that of ourselves? I’m happy. If Leah could find it on her day, surely in this dispensation period of grace we can. Yes. In Jesus we can be happy.