The pursuit of happiness - some call it one of the most important statements in the U.S. Declaration of Independence, widely quoted. Few would argue that along with freedom and the right to life...the right to pursue happiness is both a divine right and necessity. Denny Johnson takes pleasure in helping people attain not only happiness, but true joy. He helps people understand the Bible and its implications for their lives. He explains the difference between mere happiness...and true joy. "Happiness is different things to different people, but I define happiness as an emotional response to pleasant or favorable circumstances."
The problem is, we mortals have limited control over our circumstances...the millions struggling in Haiti currently, come immediately to mind. "Since happiness depends on 'happenings,' it can be awfully elusive. I can be quite happy one minute, then something bad happens, and my happiness vanishes. I think most people pursue happiness when what they really want is joy. Happiness is a fleeting state of mind. Joy, on the other hand, is a constant state of being. Happiness is emotional. Joy is spiritual. What people really want is joy that endures, regardless of their circumstances," Denny explains.
When asked about obstacles to happiness, Denny points to the lack of contentment over what we presently lack. "Whether it's getting a raise, marrying the girl of your dreams, or buying a fancy new sports car, we all know people who have finally gotten what they thought would make them happy - only to discover that it left them empty. On a deeper level, it's looking for happiness in the wrong places. Anything you can lose, can not bring you lasting happiness. True happiness, or rather joy, is found only in that which you cannot lose."
So...what would that be? "Well, people are usually pretty happy when they hear good news. The best news I can think of is found in the teachings of Jesus Christ. We call it the gospel. Believing His message of good news results in the greatest joy and peace and freedom and blessing anyone can experience on earth, and it lasts forever - regardless of our circumstances." Happy news, from a joyful pastor.
People in the Rochester and surrounding communities have been joyfully connecting with God and each other for over forty years at Christ Community Church. Pastor Denny is currently teaching from the book of 1st John on Authentic Christianity. The church meets at the Rochester Schools Administration building on Walton west of Main in down town Rochester, Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. Visitors are warmly welcomed. Visit their website or call the church office at (248) 652-7888.