“The more the words, the less the meaning, and how does that profit anyone? For who knows what is good for a man in life, during the few and meaningless days he passes through like a shadow? Who can tell him what will happen under the sun after he is gone?” Ecclesiastes 6:11-12

These verses summarize the first half of Ecclesiastes. They remind us once again that life poses many questions that it does not answer. We instinctively search for happiness but our search is frustrated by the fact that we don’t know where to look. So we our days running down one blind alley after another, desperately seeking something we can never find.

Solomon has considered the question from many standpoints—education, pleasure, justice, prosperity, business success, busy activity, and the king on his throne. He finds no satisfactory results and no lasting answers; indeed, the longer he looks, the more questions he has. Life is short, like a shadow that disappears when the sun goes behind a cloud. Everything about this life lacks substance. Then we die, and who knows what happens then?

Would you like a happy life? The Bible says it is possible. Consider the familiar words of Jesus in Matthew 5:3-12, the verses commonly called the Beatitudes. Each of the Beatitudes begins with the word “Blessed.” But the word translated “Blessed” actually means something like “deeply and profoundly happy.” That throws a different light on this passage.

God says that the truly happy people of the world are those who have chosen to follow Jesus’ teaching. 

        They are poor in spirit . . . but theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
        They mourn . . . but they are comforted.
        They are meek . . . but they inherit the earth.
        They are hungry for righteousness . . . then they are filled.
        They are merciful . . . in the end they receive mercy.
        They are pure in heart . . . as a result they see God.
        They are peacemakers . . . now they are called the Sons of God.
        They are persecuted . . . but great is their reward.

Do you have the courage to be happy? Courage, you say, what does courage have to do with it? Everything. Happiness comes from making the right moral choices in life. Happiness is not a goal you seek; it’s the by-product of seeking the right goals.   

Happy are those who love the Lord.
Happy are those who put him first.
Happy are those who respect God’s Laws.
Happy are those who are not ashamed of Jesus.
Happy are those who live according to the Bible.

They are blessed—and shall be the happiest people on earth.

Father, I pray for the wisdom to make godly choices that lead to true happiness. Amen.

This is 1 of 100 devotionals from an ebook called Something New Under the Sun.