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In spite of the fact that all people want happiness and work hard for it, very few have it. This is rather strange, because most of the things people really work hard to find, they do find. Men and women strove hard to go to the moon — they did. Then, why do most people fail to obtain happiness? They do not look for it in the right way and place.

Just what then, is the secret of a happy life? The first chapter of Psalms gives us the answer, along with the New Testament.

The person who meditates day and night in the law of the Lord — the law of happiness, is blessed — is happy! This is not a matter of opinion — it is a matter of law — moral law, spiritual law, divine law.

Happiness is the outcome of the law of life. Each one is about as happy as he decides to be. What we hold dear in our hearts will determine our wealth or woe. Outside forces have but little to do with it.

A great professor once said concerning any matter that we should first state it clearly, then we should ask, “How do you know it is the truth?” and thirdly “What of it? What difference does it make?”

Let me suggest some things that will help with the secret to happiness.

1. We need to know ourselves physically. God created us in the image of God. Man was created from the dust of the ground, but God breathed into him a living spirit. (Genesis 1)

2. We should know ourselves mentally. We have the power to think, to put thoughts together and form ideas. Animals live by instinct, but man must think, learn and know. It takes time, discipline, plus hard study to develop our minds.

3. We must know ourselves socially. We must learn to live with other people. This is not easy. The price paid for a happy social relationship is a lifetime of labor. To have real friends, you must be one.

4. We must know ourselves spiritually. We must pay attention to our spiritual situation. We must grow as Jesus did. Luke 2:52 reads: “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.”

5. We must learn to give ourselves. We learn to be truly happy when we learn to give ourselves in the service of others. The fundamental idea in service is to transfer your interest from yourself to others. Friends are a key to happiness. We all need friends and one of the ways to have those is to serve others.

Here are some rules for happiness: 1. Make up your mind to be happy. 2. Locate life’s center. 3. Make the most of what you have, where you are, with the time you have. 4. Do something for somebody else. 5. Be hopeful.

Perhaps you’ve sung the song “What A Friend We Have In Jesus.” We need to come to him through belief that He is the Christ (John 8:24), changing our lives for the better (Acts 3:19), telling others about our belief in Christ as God’s Son (Matthew 10:32,33) and being baptized for the remission of our sins. (Acts 2:38)

Eddie Cooper is a retired minister from the Washington Street Church of Christ, in St. Albans.

Essays on Faith may be submitted to amanda.gibson@hdmediallc.com. Find more Essays on Faith at www.wvgazettemail.com/life/religion.

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