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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

The pursuit of happiness

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“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” – Galatians 6:9 (KJ)

Remember the movie based on the book called the Pursuit of Happyness. It is the quintessential American story of rags to riches. Chris Gardner played by Will Smith proves that as long as a person has a dream and the perseverance to pursue it, that person can overcome any odds, accomplish anything with the help of Almighty God.

Chris Gardner, single parent, with a toddler son spends a year homeless on the streets of San Francisco only to pursue his happiness and ultimately wind up a millionaire businessman. It is a story of compelling courage.

A few weeks ago, we asked the question “What do you see, really?” And we learned how important it is to be honest with God, our pastor, and ourselves because even benign dishonesty can lead to depression. We thought we saw only to find out that we did not… Bam!

Frustration, disappointment, and depression creep in because we did not keep it real. We saw men as trees walking instead of seeing men clearly. We had to admit Lord, we see, but we do not see; touch us again and again till we do see who it is we can be because we are impeding our own personal progress and curtailing our corporate clout.

Today, we find Paul in Galatia addressing a cause of spiritual depression: weariness. And the devil, the master of deception and lies subtly sabotages the saints who are seemingly doing the will of God but are just growing weary and tired.

So the question is what do you do when you know you are on the right road, but yet you feel weary, and probably look weary and whipped. The world looks at the church and says, “I can do bad by myself. I do not need the church if that is the way they look and act.”

Interestingly enough, this usually does not happen in the beginning of one’s Christian journey. Weariness usually comes in the middle. D. Martin Lloyd Jones calls it the “middle period where there is a slowing and slackening.” You get to a stage where you have attained a certain level, and you just do not or will not go any further. It is called “plateauing” where you somehow feel you have arrived or you are tired of trying. And the devil tricks you into thinking that if you would just stop, halt the helping, particularly since the people you try to help do not appreciate you, turn their back on you, walk away from you, just quit.

The devil is a liar. God said, “Be not weary in well doing for in due season you will reap if you faint not.” Happiness is the harvest that comes from perseverance. Life is a portrait of perseverance.

That’s the Chris Gardner story. That’s my story. Our whole life is a pursuit of happiness. It is a road we take and a choice we make. We cannot give up, but we look up and get up and get going every day. We may start our life helpless, homeless or hopeless, but happiness is a pursuit. Happiness is a journey. If we are to possess it, we must pursue it.

You may write to Dr. Benjamin at Bishop@lightoftheworld.org or at Light of the World Christian Church, 4646 N. Michigan Road, Indianapolis, IN 46228.

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