The pursuit of happiness is a myth! We Americans declared it as a right when we told the British we were leaving. Ever since then people have chased after happiness in this country. What if happiness isn’t to be pursued at all?
Am I saying you should not want to be happy? Of course not! I want all of the world to find joy in their lives.
I have looked outside of myself for contentment for many years of my life. Every time I do this, I fall short. Only recently have I learned (I am hard-headed, so it usually takes a while) that happiness is not to be pursued in this world at all. It is a by product of our fellowship with God.
Seek Godly Wisdom Instead of The Pursuit of Happiness
I bought a new truck a few years ago. Surely a purchase like that would make an old hillbilly like me happy. That is the American dream, right? Work hard and buy stuff you can’t afford.
That truck had major engine problems within the first two years. I have since sold it and bought a little car to drive to work. Happiness is not found in material things.
Wisdom is free. Godly understanding is available to all who seek it. The older I get and the more I seek the Lord the more happiness I receive.
I have seen people at church all of my life who had very little worldly possessions. The American pursuit of happiness did not seem to be something they were interested in. Somehow they always seemed content. Happiness had settled in their hearts.
Proverbs 3:13 – Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.
The Happiness That God Gives Is Unfathomable
What if you were so happy you could not explain it? Is there a way to find peace that is infinite? Yes, there is!
The depths of love that God has for his children is infinite. Everything that I have in this world can be measured. I cannot put a quantity on the happiness that my walk with God brings me.
It is hard for people to trust things that they can’t put their hands on. This is where faith comes in. If you have believed in Jesus for your salvation doesn’t it make sense to trust him with your happiness?
Be thankful for what you already have today. Do not worry about the rest. Pray and ask God for the deep, inner peace only he can provide. You don’t have to understand it but you will know that it is real.
Philippians 4:7 – And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
You Can Be Happy When You Worship God!
When I was a child, my parents took me to church. There was a time when I was a young adult that I thought I didn’t need church instruction. God is merciful though and now I am settled on the importance of assembling with other Christians.
One big part of worship for me is singing. I am not very good at it but there is a blessing to be had singing praises to God. There is also something to be learned from the lyrics.
When I was a child we sang a song called “If You’re Happy and You Know It”. We clapped our hands and stomped our feet. Then, at the end, if we were happy and we knew it, we shouted amen! Childlike faith still produces happiness.
Yesterday at church we sang an old, familiar hymn. The song “Trust and Obey” was written by a man named John Sammis in 1887. The inspiration for that song came from a testimony given at a Dwight Moody revival. A young man there stood and said that he wasn’t sure but that he was going to trust and he was going to obey.
The truth is that when I am obedient to God and trust him, I am happy. So many times I am reminded of that truth when I worship him. True contentment cannot be found when we worship mammon. Worship God and see what he will do for you!
You Can Be Content No Matter Your Circumstance
Today I have a lot going for me. I am saved, and will always be. My family loves me and I love them. There is a roof over my head and plenty of food to eat. I am blessed.
Tomorrow a lot of this could change. My health could fail. The place that I work could close down. Life can change in a hurry, for the worse.
I like to notice other people that have things worse than me but still are happy. My wife is one of those people. Watching her struggle with chronic illness has taught me many valuable lessons. She is a constant reminder to me that a person can be happy, even if they are in pain.
Although I do not know the apostle Paul, his story is a great example of happiness in bad situations. His zeal to spread the gospel of Christ landed him in prison, caused him to be beaten, and even got him run out of town. Through all of this Paul persevered and was content in the Lord.
You can be happy in your life today. There is no reason for a Christian to buy into the myth of the pursuit of happiness. I want to encourage you to trust Jesus to bless you with the contentment that you desire. Then your heart can shout, just like at the end of that children’s song, amen!
Philippians 4:11 – Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content