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More Important Than Being Happy

“I just want to be happy,” is something you might hear from someone you know. It could be the cry of your own heart, the caption you would add to a family member’s actions, a friend’s whispered confession between sobs. I believe we do all want to be happy, but should we seek it with all of our heart? Should being happy drive our lives?

King David is in many parts of the Old Testament. He’s the shepherd boy who took down the giant Goliath. He’s the friend of King Saul’s son, Jonathan, who ends up on King Saul’s bad list. He’s the king/warrior who dances with all his might to celebrate God’s victory.

But he is also the married guy who sees a married woman, wants her, and manipulates the circumstances so her husband dies in battle (2 Samuel 11). Think of the justification that he had to do to be OK with that! David’s justification was for an affair & murder, not something most people deal with. But don’t you think his justifications could sound a lot like our justifying thoughts for sins that we think will bring our happiness? I imagine that they might have gone something like this.

“If God hadn’t wanted this, He wouldn’t have brought this person/circumstance/thing into my life.”
“I have done so much for other people, I deserve some happiness.”
“I am a good enough person, it’s OK if I do this one thing.”
“I will not be happy without this.”

If only David had reflected on the many times of His life where God had been with him, where he had followed Him and done His purposes!

But he didn’t. He repented, but not until much damage had been done. I’m sure if these words from 1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV had been around then, he would have agreed with them. “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

Our purpose is to glorify God. Our purpose doesn’t lie in finding happiness, especially at the cost of sin. Instead, we find our joy in Him. Romans 15:13 ESV tells us, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”

Jesus, May we seek our joy and happiness in You! May we glorify You with our lives today. Let us seek more than being happy. In Your Name, Amen.

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