In our age, as in every age, people are longing for happiness. Where is happiness?
- NOT in unbelief — Voltaire was an infidel of the most pronounced type. He wrote: “I wish I had never been born.”
- NOT in pleasure — Lord Byron lived a life of pleasure, if anyone did. He wrote: “The worm, the canker, and the grief are mine alone.”
- NOT in money — Jay Gould, the American millionaire, had plenty of that. When dying he said: “I suppose I am the most miserable man on earth.”
- NOT in position and enjoyed more than his share of both. He wrote:”Youth is a mistake; manhood, a struggle; old age, a regret”
- NOT in military glory — Alexander the Great conquered the known world in his day. Having done so, he wept, because, he said, “There are no more worlds to conquer.”Happiness is related to the word, “happening.” Happiness is so often based upon OUTWARD things what is “happening” in one’s life – the influence of people, circumstances, and things. When we base our happiness on surrounding ourselves with the right people and ALL the right circumstances, we are doomed for failure. People can fail us. Circumstances change ever so rapidly. Our search for “happiness” will put us on a roller-coaster ride of ups and downs that is unrelated to its TRUE counterpart: JOY.
- Where, then, is happiness found?
JOY originates on the INSIDE and is NOT dependent upon people, places or things. Joy is one of the by-products of a right relationship to God and is characterized by INNER peace, contentment, and hope. It is NOT based on what is happening one the OUTSIDE, upon one’s circumstances. In fact, THIS JOY is present even in the most difficult of circumstances.
JOY is based upon having a right relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ. This desire for JOY (true happiness) is universal – it is something that ALL of us have in common. We were ALL created by God with this longing, and it is ONLY with God that this longing can be filled. We were created with a need for intimacy with God. And when one has the RIGHT relationship with Him, JOY is present. A deep, abiding relationship with God – characterized by TRUE JOY — has been made possible through Jesus Christ. Listen to Him: “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that MY JOY may remain in you, and that YOUR JOY may be full”(John 15:9-11). Joy, therefore, is found in submitting to the will of the Father. It is God’s will that we place our trust in Jesus, the Son of God (Acts 16:31), repent of our sins (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and be baptized into Christ for the forgiveness of our sins (Acts 2:38; Galatians 3:26-27). Where is happiness? It is found in circumstances, people, places and things – AND – it is NO substitute for the REAL THING… TRUE JOY is found in Christ ALONE!