Obedience (Custom) (2)All my life I wanted one thing. I wanted to be happy. I didn’t want possessions or position or trinkets or toys so much as I wanted the happiness that came from these things. I wanted to be happy.

For a long time I thought this desire for happiness was either irrelevant to God—something He simply didn’t care about—or something far worse: a devious, dark part of me. A part of me that needed to be turned from and repented of. A part of me that I needed to get over.

What a surprise when I came to discover the truth. My desire for happiness was not to be renounced in God, but to be satisfied in God. Not only that, but all the commands of Scripture are given toward this end. They are given not to make life worse, but to make life better. They are given “that it may go well with you” (a phrase that appears over and over in the Bible). It says in another place that the commands are not burdensome. Indeed. Obedience is the key to happiness.

In my pursuit of happiness I have read a number of books over the years. I didn’t realize until recent years that there has been an explosion of research on what makes us happy. Forever, psychology was focused on psychological illness—depression and the like. Only recently has it been focused on psychological health. I have been on a real reading spree, reading everything I can get my hands on that deals with happiness. This book will recap a number of these findings. Summary: Obedience makes you happier.

What amazed me about these findings is how congruent they were with Scripture. I discovered, for example, that it can be scientifically proven that people who are grateful are happier, and people who forgive—even when it is hard to forgive—are happier. I didn’t actually need scientific proof for that; I had learned it in Vacation Bible School. Obedience leads to happiness.

But I was curious about one thing. Since Christianity has long been teaching what modern science is just now learning makes us happy, you would think that Christians would be substantially happier. If we do what leads to happiness, it stands to reason that we would be a good deal happier. Turns out, this is not the case. They are happier, but not a lot happier. There are two billion-plus Christians on planet Earth. As a broad category, they are not that different from the world.

But, there is one group among us that is different.

Josh Hunt. Obedience.
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