Friday, December 4, 2015

To Find Happiness, Stop Looking . . .

Psalm 37:4 - Delight yourself in the Lord and he will lift you up.

Many people are chasing happiness in life. They move from friendship to friendship, romantic relationship to romantic relationship, job to job, church to church, city to city, even career to career, in the hopes of finding that ever elusive thing called happiness. Sometimes they find it for a while, but then something happens and that sense of happiness goes away. We have all experienced it.

It seems that the more we chase happiness, the less we find it. A new scientific study has confirmed that when Americans make the pursuit of happiness their goal, “That sets up Americans for a lifetime of letdowns” (Time magazine, October 12, 2015, page 28). In the study, researchers found that those who look for happiness in success or possessions are rarely satisfied. Even if they do find some level of satisfaction, it never lasts. Those who tend to be the happiest are those who find happiness outside of possessions or careers. They find it in calm relaxing moments with family and friends. They find it in savoring happy memories. They find it in enjoying what they have instead of always grasping for something more. They find it in having realistic expectations.

For many people, happiness is found in our faith. Quiet times of prayer and meditating on scripture bring calmness to our lives, which increases our level of happiness. Spending time with others who value spirituality while sharing a meal increases our level of happiness. Volunteering in our community with a group of friends is also a huge factor in helping people find happiness in life. Simply focusing on our relationship with God, instead of our busy schedules and overloaded calenders, can go a long way in raising our level of happiness. In fact, the more we focus on our relationship with the Lord, the more we find that other things in life either no longer matter, or happen anyway without all the stress of trying to achieve them. God has a way of working things out for us, when we focus on Him. Perhaps the best way to find happiness is to stop looking for it at all and just focus on loving and serving the Lord, which often forms within us a sense of well being that is far greater than some momentary happiness that dissolves like vapor.

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Dr. Terry W. Dorsett has been a pastor, church planter, denominational leader and author in New England for more than 20 years. He is a happy husband, a proud father and adoring grandfather. He is a cancer survivor and believes that God works powerfully through times of suffering. He writes extensively and you can find all of his books at:

9 comments:

  1. So true, keep your eyes on things above. Jesus has been my savior for many years now, I'm 60. I have had the possessions, relationships, money, they never brought me happiness. God has me serving others as a Recovery coach for people with addictions. It brings me great joy when I can help someone off of these substances. I'm so grateful that God uses me as his servant.

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    1. Joyce,
      Thanks for your response and thanks for serving as a recovery coach. Wish we had more servants like you!

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  2. May The Joy of The King of kings and Lord of lords be your strength... Nehemiah 8:10, Psalm 28:7

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    1. Thanks brother Marty. Love those verses!

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  3. In the past I have found myself in such a pursuit of happiness, always discovering the elusive nature of that ethereal treasure. But you're right... when I stopped "looking for it" and focused my attention on the LORD, I discovered that happiness was waiting in His hands.

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    1. Thanks for sharing Pastor Duncan. Most of us have learned this truth the hard way.

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  4. Russell C. LambertDecember 4, 2015 at 9:41 PM

    Happiness is one of those elusive temporary emotional states that we find ourselves chasing after all to often in our lives. Where as if we chase after God, we will find lasting peace, contentment and purpose. I have found this is a more than equatable trade.

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  5. I really liked this post.

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