The Pursuit of Happiness

To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God.  This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

  • Ecclesiastes 2:26

“After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them.  The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’
“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.  Come and share your master’s happiness!’
“The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’
“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.  Come and share your master’s happiness!’

  • Matthew 25:19-23

“Human beings can’t make one another really happy for long.”

  • C. S. Lewis, The Great Divorce

Do you notice the subtle difference in the two Scriptures?  Solomon laments that God only grants happiness, along with wisdom and knowledge, to those who please God.  The focus is on the individual.  But in the Parable of the Bags of Gold, the Master has the happiness, but He is willing to share.  We make God happy when we obey Him.  He then shares with us that happiness.

Earthly pleasures do not produce true happiness.  There may be a moment of happiness, but as C. S. Lewis states, not for long.

Sure, the song is just over and you feel happy. How long will it take before, you scroll up to play it again? That kind of happiness does not last. Sooner or later, we will feel that our room has a roof, maybe the first second that we look up.

The National Football League (NFL) recently started playing games.  American football fans are happy about that, but Jerry Glanville, when coaching for the Houston Oilers, once quipped that the NFL stands for “not for long.”  He was angry at a referee who he thought made mistakes and might not survive, but Glanville soon had to move on.  The phrase “not for long” took on a life of its own.  In the NFL, it now stands for their way of life, with short careers, short moments of fame that fade away, and short memories of their last success or failure.  No matter how much happiness we receive from the earthly source of a game on television, the season will end.  Earthly happiness, regardless of the source, is always “not for long.”

Yet, the American Declaration of Independence states that we have an inalienable right to a pursuit of happiness.  That means that within our power to dream and carry out that dream, we can pursue what makes us happy.  I read something recently about how that was a misdirection and the writer was very much against that concept.

I believe, and pray, that each individual who truly pursues happiness can only truly find happiness in Jesus Christ our Lord.  This makes Jesus happy.  Indeed, the angels will sing when someone repents and comes to the Lord.  And Jesus knows how to share that happiness.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

10 Comments

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  1. I let go of Pharrell when he declared his disdain for folks like you and me— so much for happy

    Liked by 1 person

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