“I Just Want You to be Happy!” July 3-7
Perhaps you have said this yourself. It is a phrase that is proclaimed with good intentions and usually rooted in love. But it can set someone up for eventual disappointment, discontentment, as well as the pursuit of false gods. This declaration becomes even more detrimental when one assumes that GOD just wants us to be happy! While it is hard to think that God does not want you to be happy, it is far closer to the truth. God doesn’t want you to pursue happiness; He wants you to pursue Him, and not for happiness but for who He is. God wants you holy and blessed—supremely blessed—more than he wants you to be happy. We need to stop worshiping at the altar of happiness and instead worship our awe-inspiring holy God who provides us with everything that matters most.
Day 1 1 John 2:15-17
Reflect: How does this text illustrate that happiness, as defined by the world, is fleeting? Describe what John means in verse 15. What happens when we love God more than worldly pleasures?
Apply: What does culture say you need to be happy? What mini-gods do you love—stuff, perfection, having your way, control, feeling good? How did they come to be?
Pray: Lord, too often I put energy and effort toward personal gain. I pursue worldly things and trust in things that will fade and wash away. I want to long for things that matter for eternity.
Day 2 Ecclesiastes 3:1-13
Reflect: With what parts of life is God concerned? What is Solomon’s view of happiness? How does this compare to God’s view? How do you understand verse 11? Verse 13?
Apply: How much of your day do you spend seeking out things that make you happy? In the pursuit of happiness, how are you being tempted to do something wrong or unwise?
Pray: Jesus, You are the Prince of Peace, and the giver of all that is good. No matter what time it is, help me to focus on You and the things that really matter.
Day 3 Psalm 73:24-28
Reflect: What does the psalmist say about God and His character? How does this speak to lowering our expectations of earth, not heaven? About chasing after God instead of happiness?
Apply: What is the scariest part about replacing the pursuit of happiness with the pursuit of God? Who has been your model of one who delights in God rather than pursues happiness?
Pray: Father, refocus my eyes to see eternal things. In the midst of my daily struggles, prompt me to reach out to You. Help my heart to long for You with ever increasing desire.
Day 4 Ecclesiastes 7:13-14
Reflect: How should we regard the work of God? What should we do in days of prosperity? In days of adversity? Why? Does this mean that seeking happiness in temporal things is unwise?
Apply: What things in your life should you value more than happiness? How does knowing that God has made both the good and bad times affect the way you view and live your life?
Pray: Lord, give me discernment and wisdom for the good times, the hard times, and all the in-between times. Each day, help me to trust Your sovereignty and draw near to You.
Day 5 Psalm 16:5-11
Reflect: What can you claim is true for you in this psalm? What does the psalmist say about God and His character? How do you see both temporal and eternal concepts spoken of?
Apply: Think about how you delight in the Lord. How have you experienced the blessings of God even when life isn’t going the way you want? What will it take to grow in your delight for God?
Pray: Father, give me a greater understanding of what the life of “Christ-in-me” means despite the inevitable difficulties I face in this fallen world. May I not be shaken but experience Your fullness of joy as a daily experience.
Put It Into Practice!
Week 1: “I Just Want You to be Happy!”
Choose one or two things that you’ve been putting ahead of God; skip them for a week and replace them with time with God. Continue to pursue Him in this manner so that you may find true joy in the Lord!