Union Ridge Church

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

by Reverend Dan on February 3, 2021

“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.   ”

                                                                                                            Psalm 37:4


What does it take to make you happy? What is happy? What does that look like?


I was doing some reading recently and a Harvard psychologist (that’s right, I read things that come from Harvard. I don’t understand most of them, but I read them anyway) said that our brains tend to “miss-predict” what will actually make us happy. We think in the terms of “If . . . then.” “If” we can achieve certain goals, “then” we will find happiness.


IF I get better grades then I’ll be accepted into the best college . . . THEN I’ll be happy.”

IF I find get that job . . . THEN I’ll be happy.”

IF I get that raise . . . THEN I’ll be happy.”

IF I get a promotion . . . THEN I’ll be happy.”

IF I can buy my dream house . . . THEN I’ll be happy.”


This “if-then” perspective cannot be supported by science, our Harvard professor said, because each time our brain experiences a “success,” it moves the goalposts of what success looks like. If you got good grades, you have to get better grades. If you have a good job, you have to get a better job. If you hit your sales target, you have to raise your sales target. If you buy a home, you want to have a larger home.


Happiness is fleeting. It is nice to ride the highs of happiness, but we need to remember that with life also come the lows of sadness.


Delight yourself in God. Instead of a momentary happiness that is soon replaced with more want, seek the joy of God and His presence. That, my friends, is a lasting joy for all eternity.


God of all Glory, help us to be content in all circumstances, knowing the joy of the Lord comes in the morning. Help us through the dark night of sadness and the passing happiness of momentary pleasure into the bright dawn of a new tomorrow filled with Your grace, mercy, and forgiveness. In Jesus’ name, AMEN