Fleeting Happiness and Everlasting Joy

Thoughts after indulging selfishly in earthly unhappiness and seeking temporary, worldly cures.

No matter what the gleaming smiles of self-help honchos and the sparkling commercials and ads and mail flyers tell you, it’s not all about happiness.

Despite the Founding Fathers’ allowance in the U.S. Constitution, “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” is not a right.

Smooth paths and easy living does not come after perusing the how-to lists in magazines or with age and maturity.

It’s not all about how happy, liberated, free, alive, unstressed, or comfortable you feel.

Happiness, liberty, and a life on cruise control can exist in this world. But it is temporary, fleeting, and often shallow.

The world promises it as a solution, as an endgame, if only you complete this or perform that. But it’s only a cover-up, shielding us momentarily from the dank problems we choose to ignore. You can patch it over, but the hole, the mark, the scuff will still be there.

And often, even believers can fall victim to the false hopes, the empty pursuits, the lies. Every human was wired with emotional needs, the strongest of which is the selfish and shallow desire to “feel good”.

Thus, the world, and the ruler of this world, cleverly plants people and things promising new avenues of happiness around us. Not happy in your relationships, work, yourself? There’s a patch for that!

And round and round the circus goes, until you’re sucked into a tattered mess of broken promises and bewildered, “Wait, I thought we were happy?”

All because we were told that life is all about happiness.

But God does not call us only to be happy.

He did not send His Son to die for our “feel goods”.

This life, for believers, is not about striving for happiness.

It’s about Christ-likeness.

It’s about holiness.

It’s about joy that springs from Christ and not in how we feel.

It’s about delighting in the Lord.

It’s about setting aside our selfish desires.

It’s about striving for Heaven, striving for pleasing the Lord, striving to be more like Him, striving to serve others and love others and forgive others the same way God serves and loves and forgives His believers.

Praise God He did not pursue “feel good” nirvana and instead chose to suffer and die for His own beloved.

After such a sacrifice, how could we be content with mere happiness, happiness that only reaches as far as the Earth’s outer atmosphere? How could we not strive for more? How could we not seek the source of pure joy?

So when we are unhappy in our marriage, unhappy in our singleness, unhappy in our work, unhappy in our time of unemployment, unhappy in anything, let us stride strong past the flashing billboards of Vanity Fair and the strings of empty words pouring from the mouths of worldly “gurus”. Let us put on the armor of God, for even this unhappiness is a sin that wages war against godly peace, everlasting joy, and contentment in Christ. Let us kick against the temptation to cave into shallow mentality of fleeting happiness.

Let us live like Christians who know it’s not all about personal happiness, but about Christ-like holiness and His everlasting joy. Running His race is never easy, but if we press on, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the finish is sweeter than the world’s sweetest trophies.

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Hebrews 12:1-3


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