Summary: Happiness is not the goal of the gospel of Jesus Christ for our lives, even though that is one of the benefits of salvation. Instead, we find in the Bible that obedience to God must always take precedence over “the fleeting pleasures of sin."
November 27, 2004
Title: You Can Have a Happy Family
Text: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33).
25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;
29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:25-33).
The subject of today’s devotion is, “You Can Have a Happy Family.”
You might wonder if it’s really that important to set a goal for your family’s happiness.
After all, most of us are no longer raising our family; the children are married and have their own families.
And, happiness is certainly not the goal of the gospel of Jesus Christ for our lives, even though that is one of the benefits of salvation.
Instead, we find in the Bible that obedience to God must always take precedence over “the fleeting pleasures of sin” (Hebrews 11:25).
For example, Moses was willing to take his lot in life with the people of God, even though it leads to a lot of suffering.
The reason he felt that way was because he believed that it would be better for him to spend eternity with them in the hereafter, rather than to enjoy all the sensual sinful pleasures of Pharaoh’s court, which would be but for a season, and then he would be punished with everlasting misery.
But if we define happiness as a feeling of well-being, of contentment, of joy over our purpose for living, then happiness is, at least what most people are looking for in life.
In today’s scripture reading Jesus has not dismissed happiness as a superficial desire, but rather He focuses on how an individual and family can find true happiness.
We don’t have to be anxious about life, although we often are.
There is a way to find happiness in the midst of our lives.
And Jesus wants us to find it.
But first we need to recognize that we can miss happiness by our frantic efforts to obtain happiness for our family and friends.
I want to talk first about THE WAYS WE MISS HAVING A HAPPY FAMILY.
One way we miss having a happy family is by never being satisfied with what we have.
It is good to be a person who looks forward to the future, but we shouldn’t miss what’s going on all around us.
We need to “wake up and smell the roses.”
God is good to you today; right now.
You may not believe it, but I assure you that at this moment, you have more than most of the people in the world.
Millions go to bed hungry for most of their lives and multitudes more live in fear and hopelessness.
Enjoy today’s blessings, today.
Happiness is not some magical state of existence that we finally discover over the next mountain of life.
Instead, happiness happens to you along the way, in the midst of your daily life.
People who seek happiness on the other side of the mountain are like those who look for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
They will never find it.
The tragic truth is that many families run right past happiness, because they are searching for it someplace else.
Don’t miss the gift of joy that a child’s smile can bring today.
Don’t miss the explosion of joy and wonder that a child’s question can set off in your heart.