The worship due to the great Creator requires time for the contemplation of His attributes, as revealed in His glorious works. It requires time, also, to recollect all the manifestations of His wisdom and goodness in the dispensations of His Providence, and to give vocal expression to feelings of gratitude for the benefits received, and the happiness bestowed. Archibald Alexander*

Following on from the previous post, here are four more obstacles to our pursuit of happiness.

1. We don’t realize just how much hard work is required. If you read books written by positive psychologists, scientists who have devoted themselves to the study of human happiness, you will realize just how hard human beings have to work to be happy. 

2. We have leaky hearts. Sometimes we look at people who have so much to be happy about and they are just completely miserable. Further inspection reveals that they have punctured their lives with envy and discontent. They are holed below the water line and are sinking fast.

3. We have gloomy personalities.  While some fortunate people are blessed with a sunny disposition, there are others who are just plain sad. Some of this melancholy can be in the genes and some of it can be learned in our upbringing, increasing our default negativity.

4. We experience tough providences. How can I be happy when I have cancer…when my child died of leukemia.…when my husband cheated on me….?  It’s a broken and fallen world, and for some of us, it has broken and fallen on top of us, leaving us crushed and sad. Pursuit of happiness? Give me a break.

Many, many reasons why the pursuit of happiness is perhaps the toughest hunt we will ever be involved in. Maybe it’s too hard. Maybe Jefferson & Co. got it wrong. Were they mistaken to make something so basic and inalienable that is so rare and difficult?

No, but these obstacles certainly remind us of our need of God’s help if we are to put a smile on our hearts in the midst of such challenges.

“My help comes from the LordWho made heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:2)

*Archibald Alexander, A Brief Compend of Bible Truth (Philadelphia: Presbyterian Board of Education, 1846), 181.

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