Thank you to my friend Katie Orr for sharing this extremely timely message of true happiness with us today! It’s an excerpt from her brand new book, “Secrets of the Happy Soul.”
We often think of the book of Psalms as a happy book filled with praise and worship. Yet over a third of the Psalms are filled with lament. Again, and again, the psalmists question, complain, then cry out. However, alongside the wails, there is worship—a declaration of God’s good and steadfast character. They exhibit a deep trust in His faithful love and unchanging righteousness. The sad and sullen psalmists stood steady with an unwavering trust in the truth of who God is.
For instance, we see this in Psalm 42 and 43.
“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.”
The Happy Soul Finds Joy No Matter Her Circumstances
The psalmist told his soul what to do and feel. If we are to experience joy no matter our circumstances, the same is true for us today:
- The Happy Soul wrestles with her hard reality, then instructs her heart what to do while she waits for God’s rescue.
- The Happy Soul presents her doubts and questions to God, then sermonizes her soul toward the truth of His character.
- The Happy Soul laments all she’s lost, but she also prompts her spirit toward the ever-present hope she has through Christ.
This life is hard. It’s okay to waver. To question. To grieve. To be conflicted. However, as we do, we must cling to truth. But if we are going to cling to truth through our troubles, we need a solid foundation of who God is. We cannot tell ourselves what is true of God if we aren’t sure of Him to begin with.
God sees. God cares. God heals. God controls. God comforts. God loves. God is good. Do you believe it? Do you know it deep-down in your soul? Do you know where in Scripture it tells you these things? It will be these truths—and the conviction of their validity—that will allow you to walk with hope in God amidst the everyday hardships and the unthinkable tragedies. Instead of being driven by our ever-changing emotions, let’s embed our anchor firmly in the bedrock of God’s unchanging character and steadfast love.
The Happy Soul Depends on God’s Character
The person who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence indeed is the Lord, is blessed. He will be like a tree planted by water: it sends its roots out toward a stream, it doesn’t fear when heat comes, and its foliage remains green. It will not worry in a year of drought or cease producing fruit. Jeremiah 17:7–8
This beautiful passage echoes the truths in Psalm 1 and provides us with a few extra details. The Happy Soul does not fear the fires around the corner. The Happy Soul does not worry during her desperate times of drought. Why? Because she is planted by the streams of God and has solidly situated herself in the banks of His character. She will be evergreen and resiliently fruitful—no matter what comes her way. The stream is her source of support. The enduring fruit of God’s people stems from the sustaining power of God.
The Happy Soul Depends on God’s Provision
Through all the ups and downs, through all the pain and problems, I can be a Happy Soul—not because I am strong and steady but because my God is. You can be a Happy Soul too! We don’t have to fear the future. We can kick anxiety good-bye. We can thrive regardless of our circumstances. We can never cease to bear fruit. This is the reality of the Happy Soul who trusts in the Lord. She knows that He is a good and powerful, personal and great God who will provide for her every step of whatever comes her way. The Happy Soul is dependent on God’s provision.
Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2–4