Men seek permanent happiness which inspires them to aim toward a variety of promising goals which apparently will fulfill the permanent happiness for which they are seeking. Some men surmise that happiness can be found in the accumulation of lots of money so that they start a business, while others take advantage of a potentially good investment with the hope that it will multiply and place them on the path leading to permanent happiness which also gives them feelings of security and well being. In time their financial situation may greatly increase, and blossom into immense funds. In every case, even though money becomes more than abundant, certain happiness remains evasive, and various troubles may arise and many things can happen to affect the apparent happiness they hoped for in accumulating riches. These things are well known to those who have already experienced this course for the quest of money to fulfill the high hopes of happiness. Some may decide to keep the money at home, avoiding the bank, then thieves may break in and steal, or fire could wipe out their money and perhaps their home, and they quickly become poor, for their money disappears, and they believe with it goes their dhope for happiness. Another with his accumulated wealth marries a most beautiful woman who swindles him of all his money. His hopes go up in smoke! Investment and other methods of increasing money are attractive but are also dangerous even leading to sickness and death.
History shows that even banks have failed wiping out peoples savings. There are countless ways to lose money such as business or investment failure. There are many dangers such as armed robbery and kidnaping for ransom. If nothing detrimental happens there remains no permanent and lasting happiness in the possession of great wealth for it is a delusion that money can purchase permanent happiness. Others may become caught up with possessing great wealth that cause them do without essentials so as to possess even more, and they accumulate more and more money becoming more and more miserable. But happiness always remains evasive and will never be found in the accumulation of great wealth. Neither will it be found in material things which for all of matter’s life eventually dies.
There are those who have found out methods of taking certain vitamins or other pills with hopes that this will keep them healthy and alive. They could be 80 or 90 years old and will continue taking pills, hoping to continue to keep alive forgetting about the inevitable approach od death. The desire to stay alive is a good and natural desire but it is only possible through Jesus Christ. Others place their hopes in raising a family thinking through this to find the happiness they seek. Permanent happiness is not found in their offspring for the truth remains that death will surely come. Permanent happiness is not to be found in people or the matter of this world, for death stands in the way. So nothing can give us the permanent happiness for which we seek. Everything in this present world including ourselves must die, leaving everything accumulated behind for someone else. Where then is permanent happiness to be found?
Man is formed by God with a specific purpose and goal and the way has been prepared by Jesus Christ who by His death put death to death. Following Him leads to permanent and everlasting happiness and unless we become aware of this goal and act, permanent happiness will continue to evade us. Within our souls is the deep desire to live and never die, a desire which is part of our nature, for we love life and despise death. This is the permanent happiness which we desire. To live and not die is our desire, not temporary life ending in death, but working toward permanent happiness in unending life is the only thing that can guarantee us the happiness which we desire.
Permanent happiness is what Jesus Christ the Son of God promises o those who keep His commandments and love Him. He says: “I am the life of the world!” “I am the way and the truth and the life.” “I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever.” “I am the resurrection and the life; he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whoever believes in me shall never die.” “ I am the first and the last; he that lives and was dead; and behold I am alive forever more, and have the keys of hades and of death.”
Behold before your eyes is the answer to permanent and everlasting happiness and we celebrate this every Pascha when the entire Orthodox world cries out: “Christ is risen from the dead trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life.”
Money and accumulation of goods, investments and securities, and other material things are guaranteed to accomplish the opposite of happiness. For if we concentrate on the matter of this world the spiritual life will be dead within us. When the spiritual life wakens and becomes alive in us we will immediately experience the beginning of permanent happiness.