Have you ever heard the phrase, “God doesn’t want you to be happy; he wants you to be holy”? Too often we assume that happiness and holiness are mutually exclusive. We think we have to choose one or the other. We believe we can’t be both. The New Testament does teach that God wants us to be holy. But holiness and happiness don’t stand in opposition. It’s quite the contrary.


Last week, you were challenged to turn your attention to Jesus as your source for happiness. How did it go?
How would you define the word holiness? How do you think your definition has influenced your relationship with God?
Read Matthew 5:1–10. Do you have trouble believing that happiness follows from the list of behaviors Jesus describes? Why or why not?
What are some reasons it’s difficult for us to live as though we’re dependent on God for provision, pardon, and protection? What do we lose when we live like that? What do we gain?
Read Matthew 7:24–26. To what extent have you built your life on dependence upon God? How do you think that has affected your happiness?
If happiness is powered by the law of the harvest, what do you need to “sow” in your life right now so that you can “reap” happiness in the future? How can this group support you?


Life is difficult for everyone. We all face obstacles, suffer setbacks, and miss opportunities. Wise people don’t find happiness in their circumstances. Wise people recognize their dependence on God, and find happiness in that dependence.


“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.
Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house,
it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock.
But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish,
like a person who builds a house on sand.
Matthew 7:24–26
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