My husband thinks I have a lot of willpower where healthy eating is concerned. But the truth is, any willpower I have comes at the point of purchase. I choose not to buy junk food — at least most of the time. If junk food is in the house, I will eat it.
I started wondering what spiritual parallels I might have in my life. What lies (the junk food of the soul) have I bought (believed), and thereby made available for consumption? One came to mind. It’s a big one: The belief that me and mine need to be happy.
Wikipedia defined happiness as:
A mental or emotion state of well-being defined by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.
The pursuit of happiness has driven much of my life. In many ways, wanting my kids to be happy strongly influenced how I parented. I think it’s a struggle for many parents. Often, our happiness is contingent on our children being happy. It’s contingent on their doing and achieving things that make us happy in and for them.
We seek happiness because we want to feel good. And there’s nothing wrong with wanting to feel good and be happy. The Greek word that defines blessed and joyful in the Bible is also translated as happy. I believe we have a happy God who wired us to be happy and seek happiness. I think eternity with Him is going to be a blast.
There’s also nothing inherently wrong in many of the pursuits we undertake to be happy. We get off track, however, when we make happiness our primary pursuit. When we believe specific conditions must exist for us to be happy. The nation of Israel constantly looked to other people to provide what only God could do for them. To this God said:
“You will be disappointed by Egypt, just as you were Assyria. You will leave that place with your hands on your head…you will not be helped by them” (Jeremiah 2:36-27).
Leaving with their hands on their heads meant they’d become slaves. Isn’t that what happens to us? When we seek happiness in things apart from God we become a slave to / dependent on that thing. It’s a futile pursuit. We “will not be helped by them” because we weren’t made to be satisfied or fulfilled by anyone or anything but God.
We’re most happy when our ultimate goal is knowing God, and in knowing Him, delighting in and enjoying Him. Our knowing and delighting in Him causes our lives to glorify Him, the very purpose for which we were made (Isaiah 43:7). How amazing of God to make the purpose of our lives be the very thing that brings the most happiness into our lives.
Psalm 37:4 says:
“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
As we delight ourselves in God — in His love, goodness, power, wisdom, grace, mercy, faithfulness…He gives us the desires of our heart. He gives birth to new desires in our heart. We become a person for whom He is our greatest delight. Join me in practicing Way #29 of 52 Ways to Glorify God. It’s the way to happiness:
Delight yourself in the Lord
As I seek to delight in God, I’m praying this prayer: “Lord, tell me great and unsearchable things about You I don’t yet know. Reveal to me what my eyes have yet to see, my ears have yet to hear and mind has yet to conceive.” (From Jeremiah 33:3 and 1 Corinthians 2:9-10).
If this post resonates with you, you may enjoy http://220.127.116.11/~judybmil/are-you-restless/ and http://18.104.22.168/~judybmil/the-good-life/. God is using the three of them together to speak to me.
If you’re new to this site, I encourage you to read the post where the 52 Ways to Glorify God began: http://22.214.171.124/~judybmil/52-ways-to-glorify-god/