Editor’s Note: At CT, our ministry cause “Beautiful Orthodoxy” centers around the Word of God and the good, true, and beautiful gospel it conveys. We’re thrilled to announce the launch of “Beautiful Word,” a free, daily e-newsletter that will help you dive deeper into the life-changing Word of God through devotional readings from some of today’s leading voices. (Click here to have free Beautiful Word devotions delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.)
This week, consider: Is joy somehow more spiritual than happiness? Are happiness and holiness inherently at odds? How do sadness and happiness intersect in the life of faith? Join Jennifer Dukes Lee, author of The Happiness Dare, in exploring what Scripture has to say by reflecting on these five devotional readings.
“Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven.” (Matthew 5:12)
Two years ago, I never would have spoken this sentence aloud: “I want to be happy.” I would have thought it, and secretly, I would have wanted happiness. But I would have been scared to admit it. I would have told you that I wanted joy instead. I would have told you that God cared more about my holiness.
For most of my life, I’ve been a happy person. But somewhere along the way, I had lost the fullness of my happiness. During those times of unhappiness, my great comfort came in believing that God didn’t care about happiness anyway. I figured, If I can’t be happy, I’m still good with God. My holiness, then, became an excuse to stop seeking happiness.1