The pursuit of Happiness? No, Godliness.


           “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.  That they are endowed by their Creator with certain undeniable rights.  That among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is included in The Declaration of Independence (US 1776.)”

            The truth is the world got it wrong.  Something that God quickly began to teach me as I attempted to watch the well-known movie The Pursuit of Happiness.  As we embark on what is easily the most hostile election year to date, it is evident we need to pursue what Jesus instructed from the first day of his ministry.  We need to pursue the Kingdom of God.

            As Christians, too often we associate ourselves and our circumstances with the pursuit of things that make us happy or feel good.  This takes us away from the purpose of God in our lives.  Happiness by definition comes from the root word, hap – which means luck, chance, or fortune.  This sets the way to create an idol in our lives, one that causes us to focus on the pleasures of life and the circumstances that surround them.  Take note this is something God clearly speaks about in Isaiah 65:8-12.  This is even true when it comes to the election and voting for a person who makes you feel good, or even secure and happy, not necessarily what lines up with the will of God. 

            Does that mean that God’s will is for us to never be happy?  By no means.  Quite the opposite in fact.  God wants us to be happy. Jesus preaches it very much so in Matt 5:3-12 commonly known as the beatitudes.  Take note, however, this sermon is preached as characteristics for those who have entered into the Kingdom of God (Matthew 4:17).  ‘Blessed’ in Greek means happy and in Aramaic means prosperous.  What does that mean for us?  It means that in order to be really happy (blessed), we need to pursue God and His Kingdom.  Deeper than that, seeking God, staying in His will, produces joy, and that is something that is not dependent on circumstances, it is indwelling and solely dependent upon God. 

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