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?
While God is faithful to change hearts and minds in the lives of His children, we also understand that change is a process, and often times far from simplistic or quick. Habits of life and thinking tend to change over time as the Holy Spirit works in hearts. This process of change is called “progressive sanctification.” It can be helpful and sometimes necessary to seek help from other Christians who can faithfully lead and walk with us, providing biblical encouragement and instruction along the way for the implementation of God-honoring, Christ-centered change. If you are struggling with life’s challenges, we would encourage you to seek help from your pastor, a godly friend, or a biblical counselor who is committed to seeking answers from God’s Word. To find a biblical counselor you can contact us or visit biblicalcounseling.com to find a counselor in your area.
Born and raised in the Dallas area, Ryan loves calling Texas his home. He met his wife Jessica at Grace Bible Fellowship Church, where he serves on staff and is a counselor for Grace Biblical Counseling Ministries. Since 2013 he has been a member of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, and in May 2015 he graduated from Moody Bible Institute with a B.S. in Ministry Leadership.