John D. Rockefeller was once asked how much money it took for a man to be happy. His answer was: “Just one more dollar.” Rockefeller could be considered as one of the richest men of his time, as he owned more wealth than many of us could even dream of having today. If the richest man such as Rockefeller thought all the wealth that he had was not enough and needed a bit more to make him happy, who then can be satisfied? How much is enough? The Bible has something to say to this insatiable desire to have more in Proverbs 27:20: “Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.”
What does it take for a person to be happy? One might look at Rockefeller and think: “Well, it must have been nice to have so much money. I don’t have nearly as much as he did. What’s wrong with me wanting to have just a bit more? Wouldn’t God want to bless me and make me happy?” Some Christians might not come right out and say such things but their actions sure speak louder than their thoughts. In fact, there are ministries that are totally dedicated to preaching a false prosperity Gospel and some people, having itching ears, just flock to it. They are deceived in believing that God’s greatest mission on this side of eternity is to make them wealthy, healthy and happy.
But is that truly what God has in mind for us, His children? What does the Bible have to say about true joy and contentment? In 1 Timothy 6:6-8, Paul taught that: “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” The key to being content in life no matter what circumstances you may find yourself in is to be thankful. Having a thankful attitude will help keep your heart right before God and keep you from the temptation to complain when things do not go the way you want them to. In addition, having a thankful heart will give you strength to go through the trials of life no matter how tough it gets knowing that the Lord will walk with you through them.
It is sad to see some people so consumed with covetousness that they are willing to trample upon others to the extent of hurting another person on the day right after Thanksgiving just to get one more thing they think they need to make them happy. These people are not thankful people. Because they are not thankful, they will keep wanting more and are never satisfied no matter how much more they acquire.
What does it take for you to be happy, or better yet, how thankful are you? Are you thankful for what you do have and even for what you do not have? Yes, you read it right! We not only should be thankful to the Lord for all He has so richly blessed us with but we should also be thankful for things we want to have but do not have. There are things in life that we think if only we could just have those, we would be so much better off but God in His infinitely wisdom knows that if we truly have some of those things we want, they might just very well destroy us. In His love and mercy, He chooses to withhold those things from us that can be detrimental to our walk with Him.
If you are a thankful person, you will find contentment in the Lord regardless of how much or how little you have (Psalm 23:1). As children of the most high God, we should be of all people most thankful because we have God as our Heavenly Father. We have a home in heaven with Him and we will dwell with Christ for all eternity. God also promised to take care of us while we are here on this earth. God has been so good to us in giving us the gift of salvation through His Son Jesus Christ and daily crowning us with His loving-kindness. He is worthy of all the gratitude and praises we can give for all of our days on this earth!