Friday I asked the question, “Are You Happy?” In that post I showed how the world pursues happiness as the highest achievement. The problem is: happiness isn’t a measuring gauge for anything lasting. Happiness is found in happenings, and those are only momentary.
The Pursuit of Happiness: The Empty Trail
The pursuit of happiness only leads us down empty trails, and it’s addictive, always requiring additional treks. Happiness promises so much but delivers so little. The word is momentary, just like a drug induced high. Happiness is fleeting!
If happiness is my highest value, then I can be controlled by its pursuit. If I’m looking desperately to be happy, then I’ll be lead by the temporal to the exclusion of the eternal. Sadly, the Will of God takes a backseat in the pursuit of happiness. Being happy becomes my god when I am preoccupied with the pursuit of happiness.
By exposing happiness, we’ll see it as a farce. Happiness is just the best that Satan can do to mimic the contentment of Christ. Happiness is a subpar substitution to contentment. Contentment, on the other hand, is lasting and eternal. Contentment is found by my resting in the Will of God, within His very smile. Contentment is my ultimate fulfillment, because it’s the pursuit of Him. Contentment is the satisfaction of my body, soul and spirit. Contentment is found in the will of God and produces His peace and joy.
I always feel like I need to state this question. “Does this mean I won’t experience pain and suffering?” Unfortunately no, but if I’m in the will of God, I have the grace to receive and accept events as they transpire.
The Pursuit of Happiness:The Difference
The difference between contentment and the pursuit of happiness is that happiness is based on my self-will over all others. And have you ever noticed that willful pursuits only make us feel guilty and usually cause pain? Happiness involves my arranging happenings in the order that I think will make me happy. But my understanding, vision and foresight are just too limited; I really can’t stay ahead of the happy curve. As I said, happiness is just momentary.
God is the only One who can be trusted to actually know what will bring me contentment. And He has supplied the path to contentment in following His Will. Amazing how I used to think His Will was always the most awful alternative, but now I see it’s the most fulfilling and delightful option.
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
Jeremiah 29:11 NLT