I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives…it is the gift of God.
According to the BBC, the British government commissioned a study to determine the happiest and unhappiest professions. Some of the happiest people, it turned out, were members of the clergy, CEOs, farmers, secretaries, medical practitioners, hotel managers, and primary teachers. At the bottom of the list: barkeepers, telephone salespersons, industrial cleaners, and debt collectors.
From a biblical perspective, we know happiness doesn’t depend on what we do but on who we are. Perhaps the researchers have it backward. Happy people seek out professions that fulfill them. But happiness is based on serving the Lord wherever we are, whatever our calling. True happiness is based on the joy of Jesus.
The central message of the book of Ecclesiastes is that life is fleeting and futile without a spirit of gladness, which only comes from a relationship with God. If we fear God and keep His commands (Ecclesiastes 12:13), we’ll have a basis for rejoicing all the days of our lives. The Bible says, “It is good and fitting for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor…because God keeps him busy with the joy of his heart” (Ecclesiastes 5:18-20).
There is nothing dreary and doubtful about [life]. It is meant to be continually joyful…. We are called to a settled happiness in the Lord whose joy is our strength.