Happiness and Holiness
Many people seek happiness. However, happiness is not the ultimate goal in this life. God is and His glory. Those who truly seek Him find happiness.
But we don't seek God on our own. Since the fall of man to sin, no one seeks God anymore. In the words of Isaiah, we have gone astray; we have turned to our own separate way (see Isaiah 53:6). We're all lost. We no longer know who we really are or why we we live and exist or what matters most.
Thank God that He did not leave us in our hopeless condition. He cares for us. He sent His Son to seek us who were lost and estranged from Him.
Christ Jesus came to save us. He sought us that we might seek God and His righteousness. And in finding God in Christ and through Christ we find true happiness.
Now finding real joy and happiness in God leads us to strive more to please God. It might be strange to some but pleasing God is also growing in holiness.
Holiness is first of all a condition of being rightly related to the Holy One by grace through faith. To be holy is to belong to God and to be devoted to Him for life.
Whether you are an executive in a big (or small) corporation, a business owner, a pastor of a church, a teacher in a prestigious school, a minimum wage earner in a company, a high school or college student, God's calling for you and for me as His people is to be holy as He is holy.
The world always entices us to its pleasures and gains, which hinder our growth in holiness. Uncontrolled desire for illicit sex, love for money, and insatiable craving for power and fame are always the downfall of many believers, including pastors, missionaries, and church officers.
We need to gain mastery over these things. We can't grow in holiness or be considered truly successful in the Christian life without self-discipline or control over these battle areas in life.
In their book "Liberating Ministry from the Success Syndrome," R. Kent Hughes and his wife, Barbara, made an observation about the problem that many ministers are struggling greatly.
They said, "Sensuality is a greater problem for the professional clergy than anyone actually knows. And in recent years sexual sin among Christian workers seems to have grown to epidemic proportions..."
They continued, "The logic of Scripture is unavoidable: God calls his people to be holy (Leviticus 19:2). Holiness is foundational to true success. No one can be regarded a success who pursues a life contrary to God's will. Therefore, we came to this irony: there are untold numbers of successful pastors and Christian workers who are abysmal failures.
"For those of us who would serve God, the truth is inescapable. The pursuit of holiness is essential if we are ever to know anything of real success" (R. Kent and Barbara Hughes, "Liberating Ministry from the Success Syndrome," 83-84).