Don’t you just love that movie, The Pursuit of Happiness? The main character, played by Will Smith, gets bugged by how happiness is spelled on the side of a wall. He just says it once, “Happiness is spelled with an I, not a Y,” as he and his son go into the daycare. His point is that ignorance is why someone spelled I it with a Y.

My point is that it is spelled with an I because the state of being Happy is generated from within you. It is our choice. It is not generated from circumstances, just like joy or faith or love is not generated from circumstances.

What of Asher, Jacob’s son born from Leah’s slave girl, Zilpah? His name means Happy. Leah called him this because the “daughters will call me Happy.” The root word means blessed or more to the point, “right with the world”.

אשׁר אשׁר

'âshar 'âshêr

aw-shar', aw-share'

A primitive root; to be straight (used in the widest sense, especially to be level, right, happy); figuratively to go forward, be honest, prosper: - (call, be) bless (-ed, happy), go, guide, lead, relieve.

This is classic circumstance generated happiness or blessedness which has nothing to do with what is going on inside the heart.

We live in a world where appearance is everything… super models to corporate board rooms to Donald Trump’s pink tie… the clothes makes the man and man’s opinion is derived from the clothes. Matthew Henry calls it “vanity of the world and foolishness bound up in our hearts.” Isn’t that the truth? When did we get so superficial?

I guess humankind has always been that way.

The I in happiness is the exact center of the word, the heart of the word. This is where the state of being happy is generated. Choosing how one reacts to any given situation is the key to generating a life full of happiness. As the world defines it, social psychological studies have proven that people who go to church on a weekly or bi-weekly basis view themselves on a scale of 1-10 much happier than those people who do not go to church regularly. On the same side of the coin, those who read their Bible regularly are happier than those who do not. Why do you think that is?

Because, we are not the ultimate authors of happiness. Blessings come from God. The fruit of the Spirit is God’s gift to His children and being in the center of His perfect will generates that well being feeling in the center of our souls. Less worrying and much more leaning upon Him, also results in happiness. Here again, it is our choice to go to church and our choice to study His word.

It is our choice to throw off the bad feelings, the worry, the anger, the bitterness that infiltrates our daily walk. It is our choice to laugh when we’ve forgotten our umbrellas at home or in the car and the sky is raining buckets. It is our choice to let God handle our problems, and to measure our problems next to the gigantic-ness of God as David did with Goliath, to put our trust in Him that He is intensely interested in our well-being just as Jeremiah 29:11 promises us... and Deuteronomy 20:3-4

Deuteronomy 20:3 and say to them. Hear, Israel, you are drawing near today to battle against your enemies. Do not let your heart be faint; do not fear nor tremble, nor be terrified before their faces. 4For Jehovah your God is He who is going before you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.