A FRENCH PHILOSOPHER once said, “The whole world is on a mad quest for security and happiness.” A former president of Harvard University observed, “The world is searching for a creed to believe and a song to sing.”

A Texas millionaire confided, “I thought money could buy happiness—I have been miserably disillusioned.” A famous film star broke down: “I have money, beauty, glamour, and popularity. I should be the happiest woman in the world, but I am miserable. Why?” One of Britain’s top social leaders said, “I have lost all desire to live, yet I have everything to live for. What is the matter?”

The poet Amy Wilson Carmichael wrote:

The lonely, dreary road he trod.
“Enter into my joy,” said God.
The sad ascetic shook his head,
“I’ve lost all taste for joy,” he said.

A man went to see a psychiatrist. He said, “Doctor, I am lonely, despondent, and miserable. Can you help me?” The psychiatrist suggested that he go to a circus and see a famous clown who was said to make even the most despondent laugh with merriment. His patient said, “I am that clown.”

A college senior said, “I am twenty-three. I have lived through enough experiences to be old, and I am already fed up with life.”

A famous Grecian dancer of a generation ago once said, “I have never been alone but what my hands trembled, my eyes filled with tears, and my heart ached for a peace and happiness I have never found.”

One of the world’s great statesmen said to me, “I am an old man. Life has lost all meaning. I am ready to take a fateful leap into the unknown. Young man, can you give me a ray of hope?”

The Christian, on the other hand, has a different perspective on the meaning of happiness. C. S. Lewis said, “Joy is the serious business of heaven.” He added, “All His biddings are joys.” Mother Teresa of Calcutta says, “True holiness consists of doing the will of God with a smile.”

Jesus declared, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” ( John 10:10). Or again He stated, “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full” ( John 15:11).

Billy Graham, The Secret of Happiness (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2011).

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