I stopped being on the pursuit of happiness after understanding the clear distinction between Joy and happiness. Joy, an independent variable, requires no external constraint for its existence. It’s one of the fruits of the spirit that replaces the crucifixion of the flesh (Galatians 5:22) and demands absolutely nothing but the presence of the Holy Spirit to operate.
We are constantly on the pursuit of happiness. We are in search of that which will give us optimum satisfaction, trying to fill a void so to say. We say things like : “I’ll be happy when I get this or when I get to this position or when I’m with this person. We become so encapsulated by our penchant need for the “happiness idol” that we build our entire lives around it.
You’d think a life time would be enough to find this “ultimate treasure” but if that were true, many wouldn’t die without finding it. Do we ever stop to consider if we are actually chasing after the right thing before embarking on this journey of uncertainty?
Happiness is a dependent variable and it has such a large pool of demands that its seekers get caught in a cycle of dissatisfaction. Happiness says:
“you are filled up with whatever makes you happy and once it is removed, you are empty”
I always wonder how the apostles found peace in whatever situation they found themeselves.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness- James 1:2
This level of radicalism pertaining to Joy can only be explained by the clear understanding of the distinction between Joy and happiness. Of course, it makes no humanly sense for us to remain happy in the midst of trials- that’ll be very weird. Being joyful, however, is looking beyond the present afflictions and succumbing to a greater force within (1 John 4:4)
I’m on a pursuit of Joyfulness; a cycle of peace. Not that I will not sometimes be affected by the happenings around me because the flesh remains as it is. I’m on a pursuit of Joyfulness, confident of the fact that my Joy cannot be stolen, it cannot be devalued… it is my fountain of strength.
Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength- Nehemiah 8:10