A few days ago I shared a post on Facebook expressing my views of the Bruce/Caitlin Jenner story that’s being plastered all over the media. To say it stirred up a little controversy is an understatement. I lost some social media “friends”, but I also made some new ones. Today I woke up to a private message from someone who shared my original post back to me with the simple sentence: “Everyone is entitled to their happiness.”
For most of my life I would have 100% agreed with that statement, but in light of all God has done in my life and what I’ve learned in the past few years….I now completely disagree. If you look up the definition of the word “entitled” this is what you find:
ENTITLED: believing oneself to be inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.
Is it just me or is does that word and definition ooze with pride? No friend, I’m sorry but NONE of us are ENTITLED to happiness in this life. In fact, the Bible doesn’t even promise “happiness” to His children. Jesus actually taught that the gate that leads to life is very narrow and only a few will find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)
What does that mean exactly? Didn’t your Mom ever tell you growing up that “life isn’t fair?” Bad things happen to good people, and even the most holy, righteous and God-loving people can experience troubles, tragedies and sufferings in this life. We are not promised to ever find happiness in life and certainly no one is entitled to it. Happiness is an emotion that is based on the happenings or circumstances and situations life presents to us. God clearly tells us the same thing your mother should have taught you growing up: “Life isn’t always fair and life isn’t always easy.” But He doesn’t just leave us there.
Our amazing Lord and Savior Jesus Christ told us we should expect troubles in this life, and that anyone that wanted to follow Him and have the full assurance of eternal life, must deny themselves take up our cross and follow Him (Matthew 16:24). Denial of ourself and of our personal pursuit of happiness and earthy desires in exchange for God’s promises is an inherent part of the Christian life. Unfortunately many people overlook this, probably because it is clearly in direct opposition to what the world tells us. However even though we aren’t promised happiness in life, we are promised two very different and vastly superior things: peace and joy.
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” – John 14:27
“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” – John 15:11
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
The world says: “follow your heart” and “do whatever makes you happy.” Sounds good doesn’t it? Sounds just like “do what thou wilt” and guess where that philosophy comes from? Satanism.
“Do what that wilt shall be the whole of the law” is the core principle taught by the most famous satanic occultist, Aleister Crowley. This philosophy is the core idea driving most humans today, especially in America. “To each their own,” or, “live and let live,” right? Wrong. Not if you care about people’s eternal salvation.
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” – 1 John 2:15
Sure, we are have the right to PURSUE happiness, but we aren’t promised to find it, and happiness is fleeting and empty compared to joy. The words of that old Sheryl Crow song keep ringing through my mind: “If it makes you happy, why the hell are you so sad?”
No friends, living your life in the pursuit of happiness is a slippery slope. I recommend NOT pursuing happiness. I recommend pursuing the joy, peace and love promised in Jesus Christ alone. Loving things of this world and putting your happiness in them above the full assurance of Christ’s love and His promises is a surefire way to bring about your own demise.
The peace of God supersedes all of our own understanding and it transcends the things we experience in our life. If you pursue Jesus you can live with a joy that will be full despite any circumstance.
The Bible makes some 3,000 promises for God’s children, but happiness isn’t one of them. The promises He does make are vastly superior to a temporary fleeting emotion of happiness, and even though he doesn’t always place these promises directly in our hands, he does place them within our reach.
Can you think of times your “pursuit of happiness” in life has caused more harm than good? How can you more passionately pursue God’s peace and joy instead?