Declaration of Independence: "...life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness"
A universal longing -- the more affluent and free, the more intense the search.
Can happiness ever be found? Is it only an illusion, a dream? If it can be found, then how? where? when?
Bible full of promised happiness, both now and in eternity. "Blessed is the man..."
Happiness seems to put emphasis on what "happens", on circumstances.
Blessing or blessedness puts emphasis on a gift from God, the result
in some cases of our right living, in other cases of His grace.
Joy is both commanded
and promised as fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22).
The components of happiness, sought by all: inner peace, simplicity, activity, purpose,
security, comfort, success, fulfillment, acceptance, variety,
relationships with others, pleasure, progress.
Not necessarily the absence of pain, or problems.
Not necessarily the presence of possessions.
Ecclesiastes is like an autobiography of the search for happiness. Every avenue Solomon explored ended in futility. Yet when viewed from God's perspective, it is proper and possible for a believer to ENJOY this life, with all its variables and vanities, because it is a gift from God.
Happiness is possible, permissible, promised, and provided for everyone who will receive it (not to everyone who wants it).
Happiness is knowing and loving Jesus Christ!
The search for happiness may really be the search for God. Everyone has this hunger, and everyone has this inalienable right.
"Thou hast made us for thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in Thee." (Augustine)
"There is a God-shaped vacuum in every man, which can only be filled by Jesus Christ." (Pascal)
All of the components of happiness are promised as part of a Christian's experience, if he walks in the light.