In Search of Happiness
- Declaration of Independence: "...life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness"
A universal longing -- the more affluent and free, the more intense the search.
- Can happiness ever be found? Is it only an illusion, a dream? If it can be found, then how? where? when?
- Bible full of promised happiness, both now and in eternity. "Blessed is the man..."
- Happiness seems to put emphasis on what "happens", on circumstances.
Blessing or blessedness puts emphasis on a gift from God, the result
in some cases of our right living, in other cases of His grace.
- Joy is both commanded (Phil. 4:4) and promised as fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22).
- The components of happiness, sought by all: inner peace, simplicity, activity, purpose,
security, comfort, success, fulfillment, acceptance, variety,
relationships with others, pleasure, progress.
- Not necessarily the absence of pain, or problems.
- Not necessarily the presence of possessions.
- Ecclesiastes is like an autobiography of the search for happiness. Every avenue Solomon explored ended in futility. Yet when viewed from God's perspective, it is proper and possible for a believer to ENJOY this life, with all its variables and vanities, because it is a gift from God.
- Happiness is possible, permissible, promised, and provided for everyone who will receive it (not to everyone who wants it).
Happiness is knowing and loving Jesus Christ!
- The search for happiness may really be the search for God. Everyone has this hunger, and everyone has this inalienable right.
- "Thou hast made us for thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in Thee." (Augustine)
- "There is a God-shaped vacuum in every man, which can only be filled by Jesus Christ." (Pascal)
- All of the components of happiness are promised as part of a Christian's experience, if he walks in the light.