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Session 3

The Pursuit of Happiness

Read: 1 Peter 1:8-12

Happiness. Everyone is in pursuit of it. A new job, a new car, a vacation, even a good test score can all bring us happiness. But what happens when you lose your job, your car doesn’t start, or you get a bad grade? Are you happy then?

Happiness is fleeting, changing as quickly as our circumstances do. That’s why pursuing happiness will not cure us from feeling sad, empty or alone. Happiness never lasts.

Peter tells us in 1 Peter 1:8 that when we believe in Jesus, we are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy! Joy is different from happiness. Joy is not based on your circumstances, and you don’t have to pursue it. Joy is God’s gift to believers, and it is constant through all circumstances.

Happiness is dependent on what happens to us. Joy is received because of what Jesus did on the cross. Jesus’ death paid the penalty for our sin, allowing us to have a relationship with God. Jesus’ resurrection showed that He is more powerful than any circumstance we will ever face.  

In Jesus, we find forgiveness, fulfillment and a future. Nothing that happens to us — no job loss, busted car or bad grade — can change that fact. So instead of pursuing happiness, pursue Jesus. Happiness is good, but Jesus is more.

Reflect:

  • What’s one way you’ve seen joy in your life since you met Jesus?
  • Is there any area of your life where you feel like, “If I just had _________________, I would be happy”?
  • Think about a time where you went through something difficult. (It may have been yesterday!) How did knowing Jesus give you joy even in the midst of difficulty?

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