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I said to myself, “Let’s go for it—experiment with pleasure, have a good time!” But there was nothing to it, nothing but smoke. What do I think of the fun-filled life? Insane! Inane! My verdict on the pursuit of happiness? Who needs it? ( Ecclesiastes 2:1-3 The Message )

Happy New Year! It’s a new year, a new decade, and so much to look forward to in the up coming year. While we are not certain what the future holds, I know one thing for sure, you want to be happy. I know I do! It’s a safe assumption that we all want to be happy. We want happiness in our families, marriages, careers, even our hobbies are all designed to make us happier. The reality is that few of us are happy. Only one out of three Americans report being happy. So, perhaps it’s no surprise that the course with the largest enrollment in Yale University’s history is all about finding happiness, and you can take it for free. All of us are looking for happiness.

What about those of us that follow Jesus, are we meant to be happy? We often think of the faith-filled life in terms of sacrifice and denial, which seems to be the opposite of the happy life. Even Solomon, the wisest man to ever live, found that happiness could not be found in success, pleasure, wealth, or achievement. He tried everything he could think of to be happy, but ultimately determined it wasn’t worth the pursuit. Are we meant to be happy? Yes, actually. Jesus was happy and shows us how to live a happy life. Much like Solomon, it’s not found in the usual places we look, we have to try life the way Jesus invites us to live. So, I invite you to start the new year off at Table of Grace this Sunday as we begin our conversation on how you and I can be happy(er), not just for our sake but for those all around us. See you on Sunday.