[Beyond Sunday] Happiness and Expectations

Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. The two went down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit (for as yet the Spirit had not come upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus). Then Peter and John laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, saying, “Give me also this power so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain God’s gift with money! You have no part or share in this, for your heart is not right before God. Repent therefore of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and the chains of wickedness.” Simon answered, “Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may happen to me.”

-Acts 8:14-24

Happiness is more than a passing feeling.  It is a core desire; the sense of security that comes when our psychological needs are met.  Often people talk about God wanting us to be happy.  But do we understand what that means? True happiness cannot be bought or made or earned.  As Wesley put it: “In this alone can you find the happiness you seek; in the union of your spirit with the Father of spirits; in the knowledge and love of Him who is the fountain of happiness, sufficient for all the souls he has made.”  (John Wesley. Sermon 77 “Spiritual Worship”) [hear sermon audio]

This week, take some time to go deeper.  Use these scriptures and questions to reflect how you are seeking happiness through Christ.

Texts to read:

Questions to ponder:

  • When was the last time you felt truly happy?
  • Looking back, how do you see God active in that moment?
  • Have you ever tried to earn or bargain for happiness?  How?

Do and share:

  • Go out of your way this week to do one small thing to make someone else happy.
  • Make a list of your questions about happiness.  Share one on the Resolution: Happiness Event on our Facebook or tweet @dpumc with #happiness2018

 

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