I like to be happy. I try to do things for my family that I think will make them happy, and I experience the same from them. But we also contribute to each other’s unhappiness at times, too.
Happiness is a feeling; it depends on good happenings. Because of this, pursuing it is like living on a roller coaster…
Happy: Our son came home before curfew.
Unhappy: He’s an hour late.
Happy: My daughter and I went shopping and AGREED on every item we purchased.
Unhappy: We disagreed at almost every store.
Happy: The kids haven’t fought for 3 days.
Unhappy: I feel like a referee.
Happy: Our vacation was great.
Unhappy: It rained the whole time and 2 kids got sick.
Happy: The pantry and refrigerator are stocked.
Unhappy: There’s “nothing” to eat in this house. (Don’t get me started!)
Ups and downs, trials and pleasures … and so goes our “happiness” pendulum.
Consider JOY. Joy is a fruit or product of walking with God. “…walk by the Spirit … the fruit of the Spirit is love, JOY, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…” (Gal. 5.16,22)
Abraham, David, Ruth, Mary, Hannah and so many others in scripture went through many ups and downs in life. Happiness was not their aim. Relationship with God was. Because of this, they grew to understand that God is trustworthy, faithful and dependable. When happy, they rejoiced in the Lord; when struggling, they rejoiced in the Lord. “For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.” (Psalm 33.21)
Consider JOY. God is the source of joy. “Then I will go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and delight…” (Psalm 43.4a)
As we start to really believe God and believe WHO He is, this is the beginning of JOY! We believe we’re never alone. We believe God deeply loves us and He’s with us in all our life. We believe HE HAS IT! — whatever “it” is at the moment. Whether we’re up or down, we can know JOY — a God-given trait of sustaining celebratory gratitude that lifts us up. It’s rooted in a deep assurance and expectation of God’s goodness to us.
The joy of the LORD is our strength.
Are we leading our children to pursue happiness or to pursue Christ? Almighty God is the source of all BLESSING. His love and provision will satisfy all our needs.
The pursuit of happiness is the conveyor belt of our culture.
The pursuit of Christ is the pathway to immeasurable love, faithfulness, fulfillment, JOY… and so much more.
“Lord, help me pursue You passionately. and show me how to lead my children to pursue You. I pray that my living will be a winsome example for them. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”