For a while now, whenever I hear that a person’s ultimate life goal is to be happy, it makes me uneasy. Not to undermine unhappiness or people striving for it in their lives, but as a follower of Christ, I can’t help but feel a longing for something more.
I’ve noticed the difference between happiness as a result of my own actions and happiness as a result of God moving in my life. And that’s just how I view happiness: a result of something, not an end goal or a state of mind. Happiness from my own doing is often temporary and depends heavily on a person or a situation, meaning my emotions fluctuate based on something earthly. Happiness as a result of God is steadfast and I can feel at peace knowing that my happiness is anchored to His stable, unconditional love for me. I can rest easy knowing my happiness comes form a pure source.
Striving to be happy is not striving to do God’s will because His will is not always easy or fun. He challenges us and life challenges you, but the trust we put in Him can bring us things that are better than we ever imagined, and with that comes joy.
I’ve come to learn that joy is of a different substance. Joy is peace and contentment. There’s a calmness of my soul when I rely on God, and I’ve felt that joy of peace during bad times and good times. It’s not a smile on my face but an ease to my fears, doubts, and worries. It makes me want to bring God a whole lot more glory then when I’m just happy.
“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 18-9, NIV
God, I apologize for seeking something of this earth that binds my heart to such temporary subjects. Free me from those binds I’ve created so that I may freely give myself to You.