To be happy. It’s something we all want. The United States’ Declaration of Independence asserts that our Creator has endowed us with the right to pursue happiness.
One of the first Christian books I ever read, beside the Bible, was Hannah Whitall Smith’s The Christian’s Secret to a Happy Life. A few years later, I gave away my copy. Over the years, I remembered it had really made an impression on me. However, I forgot most of what it said. Several times I thought about getting another copy. I finally did a few weeks ago, almost 40 years since I first read it. I downloaded a copy to read on the Kindle app on my cell phone for 99 cents.
It was written in the 1800’s, and the language and style are slightly archaic. Some of the illustrations are a little dated. The message is nonetheless very clear and very well stated. I would still highly recommend the book to anyone. I would especially encourage anyone who is struggling with issues of faith, understanding spiritual growth, adversity of any type, depression, or loss to read it.
I think what has amazed me most in reading it again, is how much of what I believe today, especially regarding faith and about giving thanks, is at least introduced in this Christian classic. As I look back on my life, I see the foundation that was laid by Hannah W Smith. Then I see how God has worked to take several Christian concepts and tie them together in a way that made them all come alive for me. It is my hope that my blog and my book, when published, will do the same for others.
So, what is the secret to a happy life? Well, if I could give it to you in a word, neither Hannah Smith nor myself would have written a whole book about it. As this blog progresses, it’s my intention to share my insights on the concept. But, I’ll go ahead and give you a few key points:
- It begins with faith.
- It isn’t found by seeking the emotion of happiness.
- It continues with faith.
- Faith is a gift from God.
- Faith is also a decision of the will – when trials come and happiness (emotions) fail, decide to keep faithing.
- Know that God is absolutely trustworthy.
- Absolutely trust God.
- Thank Him for everything He brings into your life.