I recently saw a quote by C.S. Lewis on social media. It was taken from his book Mere Christianity, and he made this observation:
And out of that hopeless attempt has come nearly all that we call human history—money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery—the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.
We see this being played out ad nauseam in our society today. Being happy is the topic of countless movies, books, self-help seminars, and popular music. One of the best-selling songs of the last year was even entitled Happy. Happiness has now become the driving force behind ill-advised and ungodly judicial and political legislation as we see the religious rights of individuals being trampled on for the sake of another person’s “happiness”.
But while there is nothing inherently wrong with being happy, how we go about it can have quite the opposite effect. The pursuit of happiness as the ultimate goal has populated divorce courts, abortion clinics, medical and mental hospitals, and cemeteries for decades (and longer). The idea that happiness is the most important thing in life is the lie that has perpetrated itself in one form or another down through the centuries. The days of Noah, Sodom, Gomorrah, Babylon, Rome, and many other civilizations that have passed into oblivion because of moral failure and degradation bear witness to the fleeting satisfaction of happiness.
The fact is that there is a void in every person that only God can fill. And while God does not promise us happiness, He does promise every person that puts their faith and trust in Him life and joy. In John 10:10, Jesus says…
I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
In John 15:11, He goes on to say…
These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.
If we are searching after our happiness, we will find it to be elusive and empty. However, if our pursuit is His joy in our lives, that is something no man or circumstance can take away, because it is not dependent on our situation, but on His goodness — and His goodness is something that no diagnosis, disaster, or decree can change or take away.
And who knows… in your pursuit of the joy of the Lord, you might just stumble across the happiness you have been looking for.
Have a blessed week!