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Is it wrong to want happiness?

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From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Q: Is there a difference between coveting and longing? For me, I long to be filled with happiness, instead I stay in a state of depression. I covet the happiness others have, yet I’ve been taught that coveting is a sin, so is it wrong to want happiness? – L.C.

A: There are many people who feel that something is missing in life and cannot seem to fill the void. Obtaining possessions, friends, and prestige still leaves them empty. They have a longing that cannot be satisfied. They’ve tried everything but have not submitted to God.

Someone underwater longer than expected becomes desperate to reach the surface and breathe the air. The greater the time underwater, the more longing there is for a breath of air; the desire is overwhelming, and so the body rushes to the surface as rapidly as possible. There is no other thought but quenching the need for air.

This is what it means to “long for God,” to feel unfulfilled without Him. It means we know we desperately need Him, even more than we need air, and we yearn to be filled with His presence. “My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.” God wants us to be satisfied with nothing less than Himself. And we are never more fulfilled than when we know Him.

The psalmist wrote, “My soul longs, yes … my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God” (Psalm 84:2, NKJV). God will give a person a hunger for Him and we can experience knowing the fullness of Christ (see Ephesians 4:13).

 

Covet God’s will more than anything else. To know God’s will — and to do it — is life’s greatest joy.

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(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

©2024 Billy Graham Literary Trust. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


(c)2024 BILLY GRAHAM DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.

 

 

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