Happy

The pursuit of happy.
Whenever I'm browsing the aisles at the movie store, that's what I hear in my mind when I glance at the cover of The Pursuit of Happyness: the pursuit of happy. Not just because it's spelled incorrectly, but also because "happy" is one color and "ness" is another. Marketing-related spelling errors and movies, in general, aside, this does introduce the question, what is happiness?

. . . Not just the fleeting happy feeling that comes from eating a good meal or buying new clothes or spending time with good friends.

That kind of happiness is elusive, conditional, and therefore temporary. You get hungry again. Your clothes wear out or don't look as great as they did in the fitting room. Your friends move, make bad choices, and, often (though sadly, in most cases), come and go in our lives.

Obviously true happiness must not be conditional; it must be substantive and real in itself. Genuine, lasting happiness is unconditional. It is more than a feeling or good mood, but rather a state of joy and good spirit deep in one's heart and soul. To be happy and to be "blessed", in the Biblical sense of the word, are mutually inclusive. In the Bible, Jesus gives eight characteristics and types of people who are blessed, people who are living full, abundant lives as God promises. The first says,
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
~ Matthew 5:3
The "poor in spirit" are the humble and, more so, those who understand that we have nothing to offer God, nothing that He needs . . . not even ourselves. But the glorious truth is that though God doesn't need us, He still wants us. He invites us to live in the kingdom of heaven, His kingdom, under His rule and in submission to Him. When we surrender to God and come in humility before Him, He calls us "blessed" . . .

Full on the inside, content with the outside . . .

Happy.

It begins (and ends) with surrender.
Savior, I come
Quiet my soul, remember
Redemption's hill
Where Your blood was spilled
For my ransom
Everything I once held dear
I count it all as loss

Lead me to the cross
Where Your love poured out
Bring me to my knees
Lord, I lay me down
Rid me of myself
I belong to You
Lead me, lead me to the cross
       ~ Hillsong United, "Lead Me to the Cross"

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