In Pursuit of Happiness

In the Constitution of the United States of America, it is stated that we Americans have the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” But what is happiness? Is it the precious time that I spend with my children and grandchildren, trying to squeeze every moment that I can into the few days or weeks that I may have with them? Is it a phone call from a distant loved one, ending with the words, “love and miss you”? Is it a job that brings fulfillment and thus happiness? For many years, I have pursued happiness, only to find that what I have been seeking does not bring true or lasting happiness at all. As Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes, “All is vanity.”

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Whatever we pursue in our desire for happiness, unless God is in the center of it, it becomes meaningless. That is not to say that the time I spend with my grandchildren, for example, is worthless. But, like all else in life, it is fleeting and soon only a memory. So, unless happiness is a brief moment in life, this is not true happiness. Our pursuit of the eternal, of a relationship with our Heavenly Father, is what makes us truly happy.

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The pleasure that we get from spending time in the presence of God is lasting, not just a memory to savor, but a relationship that lasts in our hearts and minds and takes us through the valleys that will come in our lives. God is always there for us; He does not move nor change. People change. What makes us happy changes. I submit to you that happiness is fleeting, but the joy of the Lord, that which is a fruit of the spirit, is everlasting, something that becomes ingrained in our lives if we practice it daily. Did you catch that word? P-R-A-C-T-I-C-E! We have to practice being joyful, spending time with the Lord. We have to discipline ourselves to spend time with Him in order to partake of His joy. Discipline is not always easy, but it always brings good fruit, if we patiently persevere.

I read an article this morning from Dr. Denison that gave me cause to ponder today’s theme. Here is the article. I pray for the families of those lost in the horrible plan crash, that they will seek their joy in the arms of the Father of all comfort.

Blessings to each of you for a day in which you take time to seek God’s face and true joy in His presence!

The Joy of the Lord

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