The Pursuit of Happiness
“In his pride the wicked does not seek [the
LORD]; in all his thoughts there is no room for God. His ways are always
prosperous; he is haughty and your laws are far from him; he sneers at all his
enemies. He says to himself, ‘Nothing will shake me; I’ll always be happy and
never have trouble.’”
We live in a world that is in mad pursuit of happiness. And you know as well as I do, happiness is elusive. It is here and then it’s gone. It exists totally at the whim of circumstances and events that are out of our control. And yet, we are told over and again, “This is what will make you happy;” a faster car, fewer wrinkles, a bigger house, a different diet, new clothes, a better class of friends, on and on . . . But, when you sort it all out, Solomon had it right. Pursuing happiness is like chasing the wind; there really isn’t anything to grab hold of and no way to keep it if you caught it.
The Bible doesn’t have a whole lot to say about being happy. It does say a lot about being blessed. It says a lot about having joy and contentment and peace. And that is where we begin to uncover the root of the problem. It is a right relationship with God that produces joy and peace and contentment and blessing. It doesn’t come from cars or beauty or houses or any of the things listed above. Far too often, the pursuit of happiness leads people away from God, who is the source of what they really need. In Psalm 7:4-6 we see that, because the wicked man has his sights set on being happy and never having trouble, he has no room for God. He seeks selfish pleasures rather than the Lord. His all-consuming desire to be happy sows the seeds for the ruin of his life and puts true joy and contentment out of his reach. The thing he craves has become unattainable.
As usual, Jesus made it simple . . . simple enough that even I can understand it. He said: “Do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” --Matt. 6:31-33.
--- Pastor Keith Andrews