“Happiness or Happen-ness?
The things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the Gospel.
Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say, Rejoice.
“WHICH HAPPENED” is not in the original, but the idea is. This world’s happiness should be spelled “happenness,” because it depends on what happens. Paul’s joy was not over the things which had happened unto him, things the world would call calamities. Yet he was happy because he knew that all things work together for good to the Christian. What men mean for evil God turns to good, as He did with Joseph.
So amidst all these adverse “happenings” Paul can write from prison, “Rejoice in the Lord, alway: and again I say, Rejoice.” What this world calls happiness is not what God calls joy. His joy is the bequest of a Man of sorrows acquainted with grief, made available to us by His death on a cross. It is a deep, strange joy that may fill the heart when eyes are filled with tears. It is a heavenly joy beyond the tyranny of what happens and whims of circumstance. It abides even when our feelings call us liars.
Thank God for “happiness – whatever happens.”