If we asked people to complete the sentence, “Happy is someone who…” how would they respond?
Happy is someone who gets a promotion.
Happy is someone who gets a job after a long period of unemployment.
Happy is someone who finds the right person to spend their life with.
Happy is someone who buys a new car or wins a lot of money.
Happy is someone who gets good news from their doctor.
If we asked the psalmist for a response, we might hear verse 12: O LORD of hosts, happy is everyone who trusts in you. When it comes to happiness, God’s measuring scale differs from the one the world uses. Lasting happiness finds its root in a relationship with God; employment, health, and income status will not insure or perpetuate our spiritual well-being. Believing this truth wholeheartedly, the psalmist would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God (v. 10) than seek worldly status. This psalm advises us to desire the same.
Compared to other forms of employment, and other positions in a household or building, “doorkeeper” is not a prestigious job. But the psalmist knows that serving anywhere in the realm of God’s presence, and being part of God’s household, is enough for a contented life. If we spend our time with God in whatever tasks we undertake, we will find the contentment we seek. God promises to be the light and the shield we need in our confusing, frightening world. We can know happiness when we walk uprightly and take our place in God’s household.
List what makes you happy. Compare your list to what the psalmist writes.
God, thank you for creating us with the ability to feel emotions, especially happiness. Help us to trust in you so we will walk uprightly and find our happiness in your presence. Amen.