Tuesday, October 6, 2009
The Pursuit of Happiness- GUEST POST
Human beings were created with a compelling drive to be happy. God intentionally created that compulsion, embedding it in our nature, as surely as He created everything else about us.
God wants you happy. He created you so that happiness is a need stronger than any other need. People will forfeit anything they have—health, finances, relationships, dignity—whatever it takes, if they are convinced that happiness will follow.
God created you with this need because He intends it to be His opening into your life. Your need and desire for happiness are to be the catalyst that opens your life to Him. It is to be this very need that drives you to His heart.
He alone created that urgent drive to find happiness and He alone is its fulfillment. Apart from Him, the search for happiness leads to emptiness.
When the need that should have turned us toward God, instead is turned toward something outward in the world, then happiness is an elusive quest. Happiness is a mirage. The closer you get to it, the farther away it proves to be. Those things in the world that promise happiness only meet the outside edges of the need. Instead of having the need met and satisfied, the need becomes overpowering, driving, compelling. Instead of being freed from that need by having it eternally satisfied, we instead become enslaved to that need because it is forever unmet.
God wants to free you from that need that compels you to manipulate and manage everything and everyone around you. He wants to bring such happiness to your innermost being that you’ll be free from the fear and the emptiness that keep you focused on externals. God has designed you for happiness. Until you find that happiness for which you were created, you are unsettled.
That desire for happiness is meant to awaken your desire for God and His kingdom. His key to happiness is unexpected and disconcerting. It turns every quest for happiness upside down. The pursuit of happiness, it turns out, is the pursuit of holiness.
Jennifer Kennedy Dean is Executive director of The Praying Life Foundation and a respected author and speaker. She is the author of numerous books, studies, and magazine articles specializing in prayer and spiritual formation. Jennifer’s most recent book release is
Set Apart: A 6-Week Study of the Beatitudes. Her book Heart’s Cry has been named National Day of Prayer’s signature book. You’ll find articles and daily quotes from Jennifer at the National Day of Prayer website.
Live a Praying Life has been called a flagship work on prayer. Jennifer was widowed in 2005 after 26 years of marriage to Wayne Dean, her partner both in life and ministry. They are the parents of three grown sons. Jennifer makes her home in Marion, KY.
Posted by Tara Robertson at 3:53 PM