The True Key to Happiness

Yael Eckstein  |  January 13, 2023

Yael smiling with hand on chest

Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs
— Psalm 100:2

Today, I start a new devotional series on joy, simcha — the joy found in the grateful acceptance and celebration of each day God has given to us. Join me as we explore teachings on the joy found in connecting with God and with others.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “The U.S. Constitution doesn’t guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself!”

For most of us, however, happiness is elusive. We say, “I will be happy when…” And then fill in the blank — when I have more money, when I get that promotion, when I get married, when I have kids, when the kids move out, when I retire, and so on and so forth. We keep thinking that something we don’t yet have will make us happy.

But King David taught us that, ironically, the true key to the pursuit of happiness is not to think about ourselves at all. In Psalm 100, we read, “Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.”

The True Key to Happiness

The Jewish sages understand it this way: If you worship the Lord by serving Him, you will be “with gladness.” And the happiness you feel when you serve God will lead you to joyfully sing and praise Him.

Few things bring us greater joy than serving our Creator. When we serve God, we are focused on what we can give, and not on what we lack. When we do His work, we feel good about who we are, instead of being frustrated by the details of our situation. When we bring joy to others, we can’t help but light up with joy ourselves!

What’s more, we can serve God anytime, anywhere, and under any circumstances. In times of abundance, we can give. In times of scarcity, we can have faith. When things are easy, we can sing out praises to God. And when times are tough, we can call out to Him in prayer.

In our homes or in our workplaces — there is always someone to help or with whom we can share God’s Word. The possibilities are endless.

We can always worship God, which means that we can always be happy. No matter what! We don’t have to pursue happiness. We just have to stop running away from it — and serve the Lord today!

Your Turn:

Let’s try this ancient advice and think of how we can serve the Lord today. How can we worship Him throughout the day? Let’s try dedicating just one day — or even better — one week, to give of ourselves to God, to His children, and to His world. We will be happy we did!