The Secret of Happiness

Several years ago in an interview during his battle with cancer, theologian Francis Schaeffer said, “The only way to be foolishly happy in this world is to be young enough, well enough, and have money enough, and not give a care about other people. But as soon as you don’t h … More


This psalm is a favorite of millions. No other psalm comes close to its popularity. It was written by David but we cannot be sure as to when. The picture given is that of a shepherd and his flock. The Lord Jesus is the shepherd and the sheep are born-again believers. Sheep are among the most helpless and stupid of animals. They desperately need guidance and assistance and probably this is the reason that Christians are likened to them. This psalm does not focus on the animal-like qualities of the sheep but on the discipleship qualities of those who follow. When you recognize the good shepherd, follow Him.

Over the years many people have divided this psalm in many ways but perhaps one of the best divisions I have ever heard are as follows:

  1. The secret of a happy  life  (vv. 1-3) - The Good Shepherd shares his life with us, He gives His life for us, and he puts His life in us. It has been said that the devil has no happy old men.
  2. The secret of a happy death (vv. 4-5) - Many religious people do not believe that you can know for sure you are going to heaven when you die. The Bible teaches that, we who know the Lord as our personal Saviour, when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death Jesus goes with us and will see us safely to the other side.
  3. The secret of a happy eternity (v. 6) - We who know Him will be able to dwell in the house of the Lord forever. We cannot even begin to picture how great this will be but we know this will be a happy eternity.


The Lord wants Christians to enjoy a happy life. The secret is knowing and following Jesus Christ. All I need to do is follow Him and not wander down side paths on my own.

Psalms 23:1-6 (English Standard Version)

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »