March 10, 2024

Searching for Happiness

Written by Pat Elsberry

Just like there are many chapters in a book, this is not the final story. Refuse to give up. You are stronger than you know.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 10, 2024

But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. Psalm 3:3

When our world is upended by a radical change in our circumstances such as job loss, a health crisis or death of a loved one, life can seem bleak. We see nothing more than the emptiness and darkness that invaded our lives. Sometimes we can’t imagine being happy or fulfilled ever again. 

Those early days when your life has been totally turned upside down are the most challenging. I will never forget those first few days after Melanie ran ahead to Heaven. I recall the kindness of friends rushing over within the first 24 hours with hugs and hearts full of care. The doorbell rang with visits from well-meaning friends who dropped off food, and florists who kept delivering beautiful flowers. But most of all, I remember the supernatural peace God poured over me in a way I had never experienced before. 

It’s after everyone goes back to their own lives that reality sets in. I’m glad I didn’t realize how long the heaviness would last before I could see the sunlight again. But the sun eventually did come. First, in brief flashes, like cracks through the darkness. There were moments when I even found myself smiling or laughing, then crying in the next breath. Grief is such a myriad of emotions. Then, one day, we wake up, and without even realizing it, we begin unconsciously searching for happiness. Whatever your circumstances, God never wants us to remain in the heaviness of our situation so he gave us this promise: “He heals the broken-hearted and bandages their wounds” (Psalm 147:3).

Recently, I read something that said, “Happiness is fleeting, fickle, and often based on our circumstances.” The author believed if we chased happiness, we would likely end up disappointed by the very nature of life. Her point of view was that life is hard, often unfair, and even brutal. 

She suggested that we instead follow our bliss, which is entirely different. By following our bliss, it means that we will face our present reality with honesty and courage. Then, in the middle of it all, we can continue pursuing every spark of joy we can find – even if it’s only a tiny pinpoint in the darkness. Each day, we can continue to look for the light in our lives.

No matter how hard the days are, there is always something to be grateful for. We don’t need to look for the big audacious outpourings; instead, we can find joy in the small things that present themselves to us. Our happiness (or bliss) can be as simple as a grandchild’s laughter, the smell of fresh rain, a beautiful sunset, or even a delicious hot latte on a cold day. 

If you’re walking through an uncertain time, I hope you will hold on to this: Even during the most challenging periods in life, remember this is but a moment in time. Just like there are many chapters in a book, this is not the final story. Refuse to give up. You are stronger than you know! 

“The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).


Father God, when my world gets upended by life’s circumstances, I’m grateful I can find my strength in you. You are the waymaker and I don’t have to depend on my own strength to find my way through whatever life throws at me.


Pause and take a moment to look around you. Enjoy the small slivers of light God is using to bring joy to your day.

Related Reading

Isaiah 40:31; Psalm 23:4; Matthew 5:4; James 1:2-3

Worship Resource

Brian & Jenn Johnson: You’re Gonna Be Okay


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