The pursuit of happiness is something that inspires us and that motivates us. Many of us are trying to find what works best in our lives to maintain a balanced and happy life. We have a list of goals and requirements we need to reach in order to be happy. We have ideals and ideas about what happiness looks like. Social media, the entertainment industry and society at large play a big role in how we picture happiness. Look at Hollywood movies and you will find depictions of happiness that have become goals for many people. For some people those representations of a perfect life are all they know and they model their lives on those fake realities. Now, when we fall short of meeting those societal expectations, we can crash and burn pretty badly. The disillusion that ensues can be devastating. Have you ever thought about how God’s model of happiness clashes with the world’s model? What does your pursuit of happiness look like? What steps are you taking to reach your ideal happiness? Does your ideal mirror God’s model of happiness or are you after the world’s model of happiness?
Jesus gives us a great definition of happiness when He says “Happy are those who…” He doesn’t say that happiness comes from fame, from a big number of followers, from wealth, from beauty or from vanity. He explains that happiness comes from being humble and from doing what God wants us to do. Happiness comes from serving and from devotion to God. It comes from giving and not from receiving. It is not based on how much we gain but on how much we can contribute. Happiness comes from pursuing peace and not from waging war in order to get what we want. Happiness is found in loving others first. Pursuing God and developing a relationship with Him is the source of happiness. There are more riches in times spent with the Lord than in riches accumulated over time. It’s hard to understand that when we live in the world we live in. it doesn’t make sense and the Lord’s wisdom can appear to be foolishness to men but it doesn’t mean that it is wrong.
Are you engaged in the pursuit of happiness the way it is presented by the Lord? I had to take a minute and think about it. I also had to admit that I have a world vision of happiness that I am working on eliminating. The closer I get to God, the more that vision gets eroded and the less important it is to me. Wouldn’t it be nice to have millions? It would be for sure but if the millions were going to be a distraction from the Lord, I would rather have millions of fellowship hours with God than a fortune in my bank account. That said I do know that as I am pursuing happiness the way the Lord wants me to; all my needs are met and more. We are pursuing the wrong things when we try to keep up with the Joneses. Good things are a blessing and the Lord desires for us to have them but they can’t be what’s taking up the biggest part of our hearts. They can’t be the focus of our lives.
How would you feel if all you had was the Lord and all your material goods were taken from you? It’s a tough question to answer and I am striving to answer it by saying I would be fine. My spirit knows it but my mind and my body try to pull me in a different direction. However, I am determined to pursue the right kind of happiness and to align with the Lord’s definition. Today you and I can pursue God more than we pursue the world. We can fit into the mold the Lord has created and forget about the world’s idea of a perfect world. We can do what we can to get to know the Lord better and serve Him by being vehicles of His love message and His mission to heal, save and bless. We don’t have to conform to the world but we can change our thinking and conform to the Lord’s way of seeing the world. The world is a place where love, peace and joy can cohabit thanks to people like you and me. Seeing others get saved and blessed is happiness in a nutshell. Let’s continue to seek love, to seek peace and to seek the Lord’s face. We will live in true happiness when we do!
Suggested reading: Psalm 119:1-2; Matthew 5:5-15; Romans 15:13