Tag Archives: happy

The Pursuit Of Happiness


The Declaration of Independence of The United States says that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are among our inalienable rights as humans given to us by God. We all have the desire to live, to be free, and to be happy. So many of us have spent a lifetime in the pursuit of happiness. We think of we have more money, we’ll be happy. We think of we had a better job, a better house, a faster car, more friends, a bigger church, more toys, or (fill in the blank), we’ll be happy so we pursue those things.

The inalienable right granted to us was the pursuit of happiness, not the pursuit of things though. Yes, God wants you to be happy, but He wants you to find it in Him. If you’ve pursued things to make you happy, you can attest that once you had those things, your happiness faded. They fulfilled you for a short while, but then you wanted a better whatever it was that you pursued. When you pursue things for your happiness, you’ll never be satisfied. You will always want more. That’s why we have the phrase, “Money doesn’t buy happiness.”

The pursuit of happiness is different than the pursuit of things to make you happy. You can still desire those other things, but you have to understand that’s not what’s going to fulfill your longing to be happy. Psalm 37:4 says, “Seek your happiness in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desire” (GNT). When we pursue our happiness in God, a funny thing happens. He begins to give us the things we desire. It’s a matter of priorities.

Jesus said it this way in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (ESV). It’s when we seek Him, His Kingdom, and His desires that we will find our happiness. All the other things are a side note to life. Yes, it’s ok to want them and to even have them, but we have to understand that if they are what we are pursuing to make us happy, we I’ll be disappointed. If we will seek our happiness in Him, we will be truly happy and He will bless us with things that will enhance our happiness.

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The Promise Of Joy

I’ve often heard that joy is not circumstantial, but happiness is. To many of us, the two are the same. I believe that happiness is an external expression as a result from a feeling. Joy, on the other hand, is what creates hope and optimism even in the face of circumstances that tell you otherwise. Joy is what gives us the strength to put one foot in front of the other, to breathe in and breathe out and to get out of bed when all we want to do is curl up and cry. Joy gives us peace in troubled times.

The Bible speaks a lot about Joy. In one instance, Job had been faced with great loss to his family, finances and health. Things got so bad that his own wife told him, “Curse God and die!” She had let the circumstances steal her Joy. She saw no way out of the situation. She had no hope for the future. She was mad at God, mad at life and mad at her husband. She couldn’t understand why her husband still held onto his faith in God in such trying times. It just didn’t make sense.

I’ve found that a lot of life doesn’t make sense. I don’t understand why things happen the way they do. I don’t pretend to know why God doesn’t answer my prayers the way I pray for Him to. Just because He doesn’t, I shouldn’t stop praying. I shouldn’t grow bitter against Him. I shouldn’t sever our relationship. It’s easy to do those things in the midst of a trial if you don’t have Joy. It’s easy to want to quit, renounce your faith and walk away because you’re mad at God. But Job proved that you can go through unimaginable pain and maintain your Joy. Was he sad? Yes. But even in his sadness, he did the hard thing. He held onto Joy.

I’m sure he began to wonder why he was holding onto it after a while. I’m sure over time the situation, the questions and longevity of his trial began to wear on him. During that time, a friend named Bildad came to encourage him. In Job 8:21, he reminded Job of who God was and what He promised His people. He said, “He (God) will once again fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.” He reminded Job that the circumstantial sadness was only temporary.

I believe that verse is God’s promise to us today. He will once again return laughter and joy to your life no matter what your circumstances have brought you. I love Psalm 30:5. It’s very familiar to lots of people. You’ve heard it read as, “Weeping may endure for a night, but Joy comes in the morning.” I especially love how the Message puts it. It says, “The nights of crying your eyes out will give way to days of laughter.” Circumstances will tell you those days will never come, but Joy says it’s on its way. That’s a promise from God.

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