In America, we consider the pursuit of happiness an “inalienable right.” How to go about that pursuit is the subject of much debate in our culture, but it usually involves acquiring and using material goods. Jesus talked about the pursuit of happiness. In fact the word “blessed” in the New Testament actually means “happy” or “fortunate.” And, as usual, Jesus’ prescription for being happy turns our ideas upside-down. He said that, paradoxically, the key to happiness is to pursue a right relationship, or reconciliation, with God.
In his book, Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cures, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones describes it this way,[blockquote]If you want to be truly happy and blessed, if you would like to know true joy as a Christian, here is the prescription-‘Blessed (truly happy) are they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness’-not after happiness. Do not go on seeking thrills; seek righteousness. Turn to yourself, turn to your feelings and say: ‘I have no time to worry about feelings, I am interested in something else. I want to be happy but still more I want to be righteous, I want to be holy. I want to be like my Lord, I want to live in this world as He lived …’[/blockquote]
Like a mirage in the distance, it seems the harder we grasp for happiness, the faster it recedes from us. Maybe it’s time to change direction and pursue God instead.
– Terry Feix, Executive Pastor