I was just in a store and the gal at the checkout asked me to pray for her son. He recently made the decision to walk away from his wife and kids to begin a relationship with another woman. His reason?
“She makes me happy.”
That phrase has become the religion of America. It doesn’t matter what the consequences are. It doesn’t matter how much we sacrifice. It doesn’t matter what the cost in integrity, position, even eternity. If the payback is that I’m happy right this moment, then it’s worth it.
I’m going to tell you right now, it isn’t. Throwing away everything for moments of what you believe to be happiness is like kissing a python. It will swallow you up and squeeze the life out of you. You will eventually ask, “What have I done?”
Happiness is a mist. It has no shelf life. It depends on what happens. It is for the moment and can be brought on by completely illegitimate circumstances that come masked as fun or exciting. But then it is gone and left in its wake is pain and loss and the search for something to take its place to “make me happy.”
Joy on the other hand comes from following after the Lord, making Him the pursuit of your life. Understanding that your relationship with Him can give you peace, rest, contentment in any situation.
Why? Because He loves us.
And that love and the joy it brings are eternal.
Today’s psalm is the shortest chapter in all of Scripture but it gives us the key to joy. It begins and ends with, “Praise the Lord.”
“Praise the Lord, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord.” Psalm 117:1-2
Lord, please forgive me for all the times I have tried to go after my own pursuits and walked away from Your plan. I want to follow after You and offer You praise all the days of my life.