Struggle for Happiness
So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?
- Romans 7:21-24
I struggle with sin every day. I struggle to not be self-absorbed and self-focused. I struggle to do right and avoid wrong. I struggle to wake up for my morning devotion and nourish my soul. I struggle to eat healthy food (ie. NOT White Castle) and care for my body. I struggle to love God and love my neighbor as myself. There are many days when following Jesus feels like mission impossible. Pastor Andy Stanley describes "sin" in this way - as anything that stands in the way of our experiencing HAPPINESS. Sin not just breaking one of the Ten Commandments, It's not just stealing, murdering, and committing adultery. Sin is anything that prevents us from experiencing the fullness of life that God longs for us to live. Sin undermines our happiness because sin undermines our peace (with God, others, and ourselves.)
By faith, I don't give up. I keep trying. I strive to mature every day. I get up when I fall down. I apologize when I mess up. I try to learn from my mistakes. I try to not be overwhelmed by resignation and despair. Because of my faith in Christ, I press on to take hold of the life for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! - Romans 7:25
Friends, our hope is in Christ. Because of Jesus, we know we are loved. Because of the cross, we know we are forgiven. Because of the resurrection, we can rest assured that God is not done with us yet. Despite our struggles, we have hope - because Christ is the source of our forgiveness, freedom, peace, and happiness.