Happiness isn't always Godliness. Godliness will create conflict with truth, sincerity, & love.
Christians in the Bible suffer due to their struggling to stay with God's principles.
1 Thessalonians 2:5 You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed—God is our witness.
Through desperate measures I gave myself over to God's will for corrective action in thought, choices, attitude, behavior, associations, effort, time, and money. Having given myself over to God's developing grace I experienced a new way of life. Then, the world continuously pointed me toward money, career, and belongings. Priorities can change. Following God created within me fulfillment and peace. Obeying the world brought emptiness and suffering. I had to choose to win the favor of people or God. Many times I couldn't do both.
Learning obedience to God involves self denial because much of what scripture says conflicts with our own understanding. We cannot obey our current beliefs and conflicting beliefs, we have to choose which one we will obey. And this is not an easy choice.
Understanding God's truth requires a sense of investigation. The more we end idolatry and actually love God in our thoughts and attitudes by increasingly becoming more honest, forgiving, compassionate, patient, peaceful, merciful, just, and generous the less we will focus on ourselves. What others think of us will not be our main concern. Instead how well we align ourselves with God's character and principles will be our top priority.
Matthew 10:37-39 “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
The more we read scripture and experience it in action the more we will understand it.
Below are some challenging versus
Luke 6:46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”
Luke 9:23-25 “Then he said to them all: ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?”
Luke 17:33 “Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.”
Luke 18:14 “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
John 5:39 “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”
John 12:44 “Then Jesus cried out, ‘When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. When he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me.”
1 Timothy 1:13-14 “Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.”
1 Timothy 5:6 “But the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives.”
John 15:10-14 “If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.”
Luke 9:59-62 “He said to another man, ‘Follow me.’ But the man replied, ‘Lord first let me go and bury my father.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.’ Still another said, ‘I will follow you Lord: but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.’ Jesus replied, ‘No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”
Acts 5:29 “Peter and the other apostles replied: ‘We must obey God rather than men!
Matthew 11:29-30 “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Luke 11:28 “He replied, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”
John 14:12 “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father” 15-17 “If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever-- the spirit of truth.
1st Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”
2nd Corinthians 5:12-21 “We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart.
2nd Corinthians 6:14 “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?”
1 Colossians 1:21 “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish, and free from accusation-- if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul have become a servant.
Titus 1:15 “To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.”
Ephesians 4:17-19 “So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.
Galatians 1:10 “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
Galatians 2:20-21 “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”
2 Timothy 3:12 “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted”
Titus 2:11-12 “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age”
James 1:23 “Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.”
Hebrews 3:7-13 “So, as the Holy Spirit says: ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert, where your fathers tested and tried me and for forty years saw what I did. That is why I was angry with that generation, and I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.’ So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”
Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” 24-26 “By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.”
Hebrews 12:14 “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.”
James 1:2-8 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double -minded man, unstable in all he does.” 12 “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”
We are to make God our first priority in everything
Matthew 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
1 Kings 22:5 But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, “First seek the counsel of the Lord.”
2 Chronicles 18:4 But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, “First seek the counsel of the Lord.”