Pursuing Life, Liberty and Happiness


“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”  Those words are quoted directly from the Declaration of Independence of the United States.  In my quiet time this morning, I thought back to what our founding fathers must have been thinking when they came up with that sentence in particular.  It is, after all, not an insignificant declaration.  My thoughts today are not about the political and theological debates that surround racial and ethnic equality, creationism and so on.  My thoughts are focused on the latter part of the concept:  that among the “unalienable Rights” are three specific items (“Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”).  I would encourage you, especially those of you in the United States, to review the Declaration of Independence and give some serious thought to its meaning and try to determine for yourself the foundational basis for this great nation in which we live.  Today, I want to just look at the third item in the list, “the pursuit of Happiness”.

Perhaps more so than anywhere else in the world, I would offer that people in the United States of America have long engaged in the pursuit of Happiness.  We can see it in the luxurious lifestyles even the modest among us live in comparison to most of the rest of the world and it is apparent that we pursue happiness.  We have multiple automobiles, houses larger than we really need, storage buildings filled with things we rarely if ever use, boats and trailers that have tires dry rotting from lack of use, and electronic/technology gadgets of all kinds.  We find it difficult to do the things that matter most because we are so busy chasing our own pleasures and the thing that will make us happy.  Sadly, far too many reach the end of life still engaged in the “pursuit of Happiness” rather than having found genuine fulfillment and pleasure.

That is troubling when I look at the assertion in Psalm 16:11: “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (quoted from the New King James Version of the Bible).  If, as a follower of Christ, I claim to believe the Bible (you do, don’t you?) then it would seem that I have the answer to the “pursuit of Happiness” already.  All I need to do to find genuine and lasting happiness is to live in the Presence of the God of the Bible.  No need to run here and there and invest time, energy and money in the “pursuit”.  All I need to do is establish a relationship with God, enter into His Presence and remain there.  Interestingly enough, the Bible gives me clear instruction about how do all of that.  Relationship with God is established through Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God who died for our sins and rose again that we might have eternal life.  Coming into the Presence of God is through intentionally setting aside time to withdraw from distractions of life and purposefully seeking Him through the written Word and prayer.  Remaining in His Presence involves praising Him and living to honor Him who has promised to never leave us nor forsake us.  To Him be glory both now and forever, Amen.

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~ by brotherfaron on March 15, 2014.

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