Americans are well acquainted with the idea of pursuing happiness. Our “unalienable right” to do so is laid out in the Constitution. But we’re not alone in our pursuit. Every person on the planet is a happiness seeker, whether they know it or not. It’s part of human wiring, part of the way God fearfully and wonderfully created us.
But there’s a problem.
The problem is that our natural, fleshly bent each day is to pursue happiness in people, places, and things that aren’t God. Sometimes we chase this happiness in complete ignorance of God, and sometimes we try to add things to God, as if He couldn’t make us happy enough without some add-ons. In either case, we’re sinning, and sin is a killjoy.
The key truth we easily forget is that God is the only avenue to lasting happiness/joy/satisfaction.
Notice I didn’t say, “He provides the only avenue.” No, He is the only avenue.
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” – Psalm 16:11
“You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.” – Psalm 4:7
Happiness in God, satisfaction in God, is one of the most important goals to pursue each day. We were created to glorify God, and He is most glorified when we are supremely satisfied in Him.
Ever heard of the hole in your heart that can only be filled by God? That can be a helpful illustration for us, but sometimes we think of it only as a one-time thing. Like, “I’ve become a Christian, so now that hole is filled once and for all!” In one sense that’s true, because salvation is a “one and done” type thing, but in another sense, when it comes to being satisfied in God, we need that heart-filling daily.
In C.S. Lewis’s The Silver Chair we find a conversation between the Christ-figure Aslan and a girl named Jill…
“Are you thirsty?” said the Lion.
“I’m dying of thirst,” said Jill.
“Then drink,” said the Lion.
Jesus said, as recorded in John 6:35, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”
What are you trying to quench your joy-thirst with? Is it the person of Jesus?
Ask yourself: Who, or what, am I counting on today to make me happy? Where have I placed my hope for happiness?