“We will never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our deeds, or our feelings; it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to our soul.” (Charles Spurgeon)
Every which way we turn, we are inundated with the constant pursuit of finding happiness. It’s human nature. All people want to be happy. And that’s not a bad thing. The problem resides in where we attempt to find this elusive happiness.
Where have you been looking?
As Spurgeon notes above, true happiness is found only by abiding in Jesus Christ. No prayer, feeling, or deed. No emotion, song, or companion. Do you want abiding happiness? Look to Christ.
That’s not where people are searching, though. Most people think Jesus will restrict their happiness. How can I be happy when Jesus doesn’t give me whatever I want? some say. My friend, you’ve missed the point of what it means to be happy. We’ve become too influenced by culture’s definition.
Culture’s definition of happiness may present to you a fleeting emotion, something that is here for a moment and vanishes in a flash. It’s only here for a moment. That is not the Bible’s picture of happiness, however.
Scripture points to a happiness, or a joy, that exists outside ourselves; a happiness that we experience regardless of how we may feel. This is because it’s a blood-bought happiness—a happiness that “gives rest to the soul.”
Humans are in constant motion seeking happiness. Friend, if you’re looking for abiding happiness outside of Jesus, you’ll never find it. You will continue to experience the waves of anxiety and frustration that come with looking for happiness elsewhere. Why is that? Because nothing on earth will completely satisfy us; ultimate satisfaction—ultimate happiness—only comes by Jesus.
Feeding the homeless may make you happy. Caring for the sick might cause joy to swell up in your heart. Donating to your local charity will bring forth a sense of accomplishment and you’ll pat yourself on the back.
But then it’ll all fade and you’ll be back at square one.
Do you want rest for your soul? Do you want a happiness the abides in your heart regardless of your feelings and circumstances? Look to Christ.
Whether you just got a big promotion or your spouse just left you; whether you’re enjoying a delicious steak or you are in a car accident—happiness found in Jesus will remain despite it all.
He doesn’t promise life will be easy—it won’t. But he does promises you abiding joy because you’ll be in union with him.