Job 5:17-18 – Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty: For he maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole.
If you are like me, then I imagine that most of the time you define happiness in terms of pleasure and experiences that satisfy your desire for emotional and physical fulfillment. This is a natural response. However, we also know that any such fulfillment is temporary. We can never eat enough or drink enough. We can never have enough relationships or too much money. These feelings are how natural man defines happiness.
The Word of God teaches us a number of ways that lead to happiness. King Solomon encouraged us to enjoy the blessings offered by the work of our hands without losing sight of our duty to serve God. As Jesus put it simply, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).
Happiness then is not defined by pleasures or emotions so much as proximity to God. Abiding within the gracious confines of God’s loving embrace is both comforting and life changing. When we err, He corrects not for punitive reasons but rather to return us to Him. “When we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world” ( 1 Corinthians 11:32). When we are chastened, we are comforted in forgiveness and kept from worse punishment.
Do not run away. His rod and His staff will comfort even wayward sheep like me and you.