time. Think of what makes you the happiest and most fulfilled. When you ponder
these things where is Jesus and the Kingdom of God? Do you find your joy in Christ,
or do you alternately expect that Jesus wants you to be happy?
Day in and day out we are bombarded with the message that the pursuit of
happiness is our right and a need that must be met. We work to live to be happy. Our
happiness is generally the first need we try to meet before attempting to meet the
needs of others. C.S. Lewis once wrote, “We have no right to happiness only an
obligation to do our duty.”
Happiness in itself is not bad. But the love of happiness can become idolatry. We
should trade our pursuit of happiness for the pursuit of joy. We derive joy from
serving God. Joy is found from listening to the Holy Spirit and following the God
placed desires of our hearts. There is joy in truth and in staying true to our word.
The bible even says there is joy to be found in suffering. Happiness is fleeting. Joy is
Romans 5:3‐5 says, “We rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering
produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And
hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our
hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”
Oftentimes in the pursuit of happiness we can miss out on the suffering that can
strengthen our faith, increase our character and turn our eyes to heaven. In the
pursuit of happiness we can miss out on true joy.
Dear God, teach us to seek first Your Kingdom so that we can find lasting joy in You.