Happy, by chance?

A Christian Science perspective: True happiness is not vulnerable.

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My Webster’s New World Dictionary defines “happy” as simply “Favored by circumstances; lucky; fortunate.” Does that make happiness fragile, unreliable, likely to disappear with an unexpected change of circumstances?

True happiness is not vulnerable. It’s rooted in God’s great love for His creation, and nothing is chancy about that. The Scriptures clearly show that God made all that was made, and, “behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). God left nothing to improve, and He didn’t forget to do anything. In the spiritual realm of the real, we are all His perfect work – perfect as our Maker. We can never be more or less than complete. Sometimes we think a particular thing will make us happy. But wanting more can blind us to the good already at hand, and this spiritual blindness is what produces unhappiness.

What we want isn’t always good for us to have, so it’s better to trust God for our needs. Christ Jesus said, “[Y]our Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him” (Matthew 6:8). All we can ever need to be happy is already ours in the perfection of our God-given being. It would be foolish to ask for more than all, or for better than perfect. The challenge is not to think up things for God to give us but to understand that we are His expression and to glorify Him by putting into practice the dominion He has given us over anything contrary to good (see Genesis 1:27, 28).

“Experience teaches us that we do not always receive the blessings we ask for in prayer,” Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” her primary work. Further on she continues: “The Scriptures say: ‘Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.’ That which we desire and for which we ask, it is not always best for us to receive. In this case infinite Love will not grant the request” (p. 10).

Perhaps you know someone who buys fistfuls of lottery tickets, dreaming how happy life would be if only the right numbers came up. Pinning hope for a worry-free life based on matching six numbers and a power ball is one example of what Mrs. Eddy calls “a broken reed, which pierces the heart” (Science and Health, p. 66), something many have discovered, with tragic consequences. Sudden wealth is no real solution to unhappiness.

I have found in my study of Christian Science that true happiness is a God-centered life, a never-ending unfoldment of our Maker’s self-expression. The beauty of happiness is not in worldly wealth or success, the gold we wear, or the way we fix our hair. True happiness is spiritual, for it reflects God’s glory and God’s joy. When a hungry heart prays for bread, our heavenly Father-Mother does not give us a stone or a serpent (see Luke 11:11). Everything in God’s kingdom is subject to His rule of harmony. We all have a divine right to happiness.

Jesus said, “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). God’s work is done, His kingdom is come. As heirs to the kingdom, happiness is our eternal heritage.

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