Although this world can be a sad place, in God’s mercy there are still many different kinds of happiness in the world.
Nature happiness: This is the kind of joy that can be derived from the creation, the happiness we experience through our physical senses when we encounter God’s creation. Mountains, rivers, lakes, trees, flowers, animals, seasons, weather, food, etc., – all of them and much more can put smiles in our heart and on our face.
Social happiness: We find so much wonderful pleasure in our family and our friends. Relationships of different kinds and degrees are so integral to a happy life.
Vocational happiness: Although our jobs can often frustrate us, we also experience much job satisfaction and even exhilaration when things go well.
Physical happiness: The joy we have in being fit, strong, and healthy, able to do what we want to do. It’s especially intense and special to those who have their health and comfort restored after sickness or surgery.
Intellectual happiness: The pleasure that comes from understanding something – analyzing it, explaining it, improving it, remembering it, using it. We master a subject or solve a problem and enjoy a kind of mental ecstasy.
Humor happiness: God created humanity with a sense of humor – it’s not the result of the fall. Sure, it’s often hard to separate humor from sin today because jokes and funny stories are often so vulgar, crude, and demeaning of others. However, there is still such a thing as holy and healthy humor.
These six joys can all be experienced both by the Christian and the non-Christian. Isn’t it amazing how much happiness, and how many different happinesses, God has left for His creatures in this fallen and sin-cursed world. “Good unto all men is the Lord, Over all his works, his tender mercies are” (Psalm 145:9).
Having said that, a Christian should be able to derive even more happiness from these six sources by connecting them with God’s grace and God’s providential activity in their lives.
Also, there is a joy that only the Christian can experience, a joy that at times contains more pleasure and delight than the other six put together, and that’s spiritual happiness. This joy often fills and even floods a believer’s heart as he/she reads the Bible, learns about God and His grace, and communes with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This is indeed joy unspeakable and full of glory.
But let me leave you with a question: Which of these happinesses did Jesus experience and enjoy?