The Lord does want us to enjoy our lives, from childhood through adulthood.  In fact, the Bible is full of instructions telling us how we can be happy and enjoy our lives.  In the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:3-11, the Lord says, “Blessed are…” nine different times.  The Greek word for blessed is ‘makarios’ and literally means ‘happy’.  I encourage you to spend time reading and meditating upon this portion for the Lord is telling us how we can be happy in this world. 

Let us consider just a few more ways the Lord has instructed us as to how to be happy.

* Proverbs 14:21, “…he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.  Happiness comes from showing mercy.

* John 13:17, “If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.”  Happiness comes from obedience to God’s Word.

* Romans 14:22, “Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.”  Happiness comes from a clean and clear conscience.

Solomon warns the young man/woman about a wasted youth.  He writes in Ecclesiastes 11:9-10, “Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment. Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh: for childhood and youth are vanity.”  This is not an encouragement to live irresponsibly, but rather a warning to those who choose to live recklessly. 

As we continue to read in Ecclesiastes, we read the words of Solomon in Ecclesiastes 12:1, “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them.”  Before the troubles and inconveniences of old age, before the evil days of temptation come upon us and we must struggle with them, before we become hardened to the precious things of the Lord, we should have our minds fixed upon the One who created us and gave us life.  We should enjoy Him and all He has for us in the days of our youth. 

Yes, the Lord wants us to be happy, but He wants our happiness to be found in Him and according to His Word.  This is not fleeting happiness, but happiness that will abide with us until the very day we go to be with the Lord and there we will experience “fulness of joy.” (Psalm 16:11).  (448.6)