From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Happiness is elusive, and we don’t find it by seeking it. Happy is the person who has learned the secret of being content with whatever life brings him, and has learned to rejoice in the simple and beautiful things around him.
We seem to be happy when we are relatively free from troubles. When circumstances change—as they inevitably do—then happiness seems to evaporate. Often when we say we are “happy” we know it is only temporary. From time to time we may think we have found a degree of happiness, but sooner or later it will vanish. Our search, then, remains unfulfilled.
But there is another kind of happiness—the kind for which we all long. This kind of happiness is lasting; it is an inner joy and peace which endures in any circumstance no matter what comes our way. It may even grow stronger in adversity. This is the kind of happiness to which Jesus summons us in the Beatitudes and comes only from God. He alone has the answer to our search for lasting happiness. “He who heeds the word [of God] wisely will find good, and … happy is he” (Proverbs 16:20).
Such happiness for which our souls ache is one undisturbed by success or failure, one which dwells deep within us and gives us inward contentment even in despairing circumstances; it needs no outward stimulus.
“Godliness with contentment is great gain … Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, [and] gentleness” (1 Timothy 6:6, 11). The teachings of Jesus are transformational, revolutionary, startling, deeply profound, and yet amazingly simple!
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)