“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal" (Matthew 6:19-20).

Happiness will not fill you or take away your trouble. We are constantly looking for the world to fill us. We want more stuff, more money, more dates, more, more, more. Happiness becomes like a drug and we have this enormous appetite. Do you remember the enemy when he tempted Jesus? With what did he tempt him? Power, stuff, food, and health. The enemy knows our weak flesh and prowls, waiting for the next time to jump on us. Knowing this should help us in making decisions about what brings us true happiness. Being happy about seeing a friend, getting a date, buying a new outfit is fine as long as know it is not why we are living on this earth. Being happy will not take away the trouble. It may only mask it for a while. True happiness (joy) which comes from God can happen in the midst of our troubles. 

He says to himself, “Nothing will shake me; I’ll always be happy and never have trouble” (Psalms 10:6)

“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings” (1 Peter 5:8-9). 

Happiness is self-focused versus God focused. Every day most of us are seeking to just be happy. We want a great day at work with no issues. We want our kids to be happy. We want to get along with family members. We want our washing machines to work, quick accessibility to the remote,  great weather, easy traffic and no lines. But what does God want? Maybe he has allowed that pain in your family to draw you both to Him. Maybe the lines are long because God wants you to start a conversation with the person beside you about Christ. Maybe the weather will cause you drive slower and stop texting. Maybe not finding the remote will cause you to spend some quality time with your family, or with God. We should be God seekers versus happiness seekers. What is great about seeking God and what He wants, you can then enjoy being happy (even in the temporary circumstances) because God gave you this happiness. You begin to learn what real happiness is...joy. 

When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, a man cannot discover anything about his future (Ecclesiastes 7:14).

Paul, an amazing leader, follower and teacher of God's word, shares in Philippians about being happy in Christ because of the joy in Christ. Paul is writing from prison, a note of encouragement and affirmation to the church in Philippi that he had started. Here are some valuable lessons he is teaching us about joy.

Joy results in thankfulness. When you are filled with God's Holy Spirit because you have accepted Christ into your heart and are saved, you will begin to experience true and lasting happiness: joy. You begin to see this life and all its ups and downs as something to be thankful for. Paul in his grim circumstances starts by saying how much he thanks God for them. Joy from God can't help but result in an attitude of gratefulness. This thankfulness allows you to be "happy" in all situations.