I believe we are all in the pursuit of happiness, but what is your happiness? Happy is defined as- cheerful, joyful, delighted, feeling or showing pleasure or contentment. Paul said in Philippians 4 that he has learned to be content in whatever the circumstances. Paul has learned the secret of being content with and without. Can I be honest with you? I’m still working on this. I am grateful for the many blessings that God has given me in this life, and He has been better than good to me, but yet often times I still find myself struggling with being content without, if I were to be honest, sometimes I find myself struggling being content with. I know I’m not alone here. How many of you find yourself focused more on what you don’t have instead of thanking God for what you do have? When we focus on what we don’t have we miss out on the enjoyment of what we do have. We need to be more mindful to count our blessings and in doing so we will find that we have more to be grateful for than we thought.
Thanksgiving is around the corner and many people will be focusing on what they are thankful for, but as Christians we need to practice thanksgiving daily. Even in the midst of trials and tests, I’m sure we can still find something to be grateful for and give God thanks. Maybe we could stop complaining about the storm long enough to stop and thank Him that we are in the storm, but it hasn’t taken us out! Thank Him that the weapon was formed, but it didn’t prosper! Let’s try every day, especially on our toughest days, to find at least one thing to give God thanks for. My boss may be driving me crazy and I may be underpaid, but I got a job.
The pursuit of happiness – what is happiness to you? Often times I hear people say I just want to be happy, but when you ask them what makes them happy many don’t know. Or the all familiar answer is “more money”. We think that if we just had more money that we would be happy. But what if money wasn’t an issue? And money can’t be the answer to happiness because if it were rich people wouldn’t be depressed. The Notorious B.I.G. said “mo money mo problems”. You’re probably thinking to yourself, I would like those kinds of problems, money problems that is. Someone once said that money will buy you anything except happiness and is a ticket everywhere except heaven. A man or woman’s life does not consist in the abundance of things he or she possesses. We live our life trying to accumulate possessions and positions as if that defines us. We aren’t defined by our possessions, but we are defined by our position in Him as sons and daughters.
We must stop looking outside for happiness. Our happiness must come from within, because if your happiness does not come from within and it’s based on tangible things or people when we lose those things and/or people we will lose our happiness. Our happiness can’t be wrapped up in the marriage, because what happens if the marriage fails, because unfortunately marriages do fail, even Christian marriages. Our happiness can’t be wrapped up in the money, because we could lose it all. I want to challenge you today to look within yourself and to spend some quiet time with yourself and God and find out what makes you happy apart from the job, the money, the house, the car, the possessions, the titles, the status… and pursue that thing.
And it is my prayer that the pursuit of your happiness is not wrapped up in possessions and presents but in His presence and that you pursue His presence passionately.