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Tuesday, January 9, 2024

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1 Samuel 1:9-20
1 Samuel 2:1, 4-8
Mark 1:21-28

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the pursuit of happiness?

“I am an unhappy woman.” —1 Samuel 1:15

Hannah was unhappy. She brought her miseries to God and laid them before Him (1 Sm 1:10). This was a wise and fruitful move for Hannah, as God heard and answered her prayers and desires (1 Sm 1:19-20). She found happiness in the Lord’s answer to her prayer.

Many unhappy men and women bring their miseries to alcohol, tobacco, addictions, entertainment, gambling, sexual sins, or other dangerous forms of escape. Sadly, instead of finding happiness, their escaping solves nothing and often only compounds their troubles.

The key to a happy life is not to pursue happiness but to pursue God. Jesus has made it clear that in this life we will have a daily cross to bear (Lk 9:23). Bearing this cross need not result in unhappiness; there can be peace and at times joy in suffering for Jesus (Col 1:24). Carrying our cross with Jesus is even a “special privilege” (Phil 1:29).

God blesses those who seek Him. The word “blessed” can be translated “happy.” Blessed, happy, are those who mourn, are lowly, and suffer persecution (Mt 5:4-5, 10-11). Blessed are those who fear the Lord and obey Him, regardless of the consequences (Ps 112:1). Are you caught up in the pursuit of happiness? Instead, pursue the Lord; “seek first His kingship over you” (Mt 6:33). “Seek the Lord while He may be found” (Is 55:6).

Prayer:  Father, may I not seek my own fulfillment, but instead seek the fulfillment of Your will (see Mk 1:15).

Promise:  “A completely new teaching in a spirit of authority! He gives orders to unclean spirits and they obey!” —Mk 1:27

Praise:  Carolyn overcame her tendency to false guilt and discouragement by repeatedly turning her thoughts to things above (Col 3:2).

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

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