| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 45 - Page 17 of 251 Index | Zoom | |
Whatever mankind may be occupied with, the search for true happiness is largely
behind it. The quest often resolves itself into the seeking of wealth, position or
popularity, although some find their joy in family and friends, or in some life's work or
cause. But wherever the natural man pursues his quest, it is in the things of this life, and
for that reason there comes the day when the happiness ceases, either through a change of
circumstances, or, in the final analysis, death. True Scriptural happiness, because it
speaks of permanence, is different.
Solomon set himself the task of examining all things "under the sun" and his verdict
was, "all is vanity and vexation of spirit" (Eccles. 1: 12-14); the word "vanity" used
many times by him being the Hebrew hebel (transitory, soon to vanish, vapour-like).
Each thing is conditioned by a season (it may be "beautiful in its proper season"--3: 11),
so nothing lasts "under the sun". (See also James 4: 14).
Paul observed the whole, groaning creation, "subject to vanity", under "the bondage of
corruption" (Rom. 8: 20-23), a fact which had been appreciated to some extent by the
first human beings, in naming their second son Abel (Hebel, transitory).
Where then is true happiness? It is found in hope and resurrection. "Happy are they
that have not seen (the risen Lord in the flesh, as Thomas did) and yet have believed (that
He rose)"--John 20: 29. It is the resurrection of Christ, guaranteeing life for the
believer, life which is not "transitory", that gives the hope (and present experience) of
true happiness. Because of Him we can rejoice in "the good news of the glory of the
happy God", and look forward to the realization of the "happy hope" associated with His
glory (I Tim. 1: 11; Titus 2: 13; Col. 3: 4).
"If in this life only we have hope (even) in Christ, we are of all men most miserable."
If there was no resurrection of Christ, if we can look to nothing beyond the grave, "let us
eat and drink (Paul does not add `be merry'); for tomorrow we die" (I Cor. 15: 19, 32).
"But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept"
(20). Blessed be God, Who in Christ, has given all His people a sure and certain and
lasting (truly happy) hope.
BRIAN E. SHERRING