What makes you happy?
The bible study question and topic to which a friend was quick to answer that food, food makes him happy.
A question so simple yet almost difficult for some of us to answer. According to a dictionary, happiness is “a state of well-being, a pleasurable and satisfying experience.”
Now what are some of the things that generally makes us feel happy? Or what are some of the things that we usually look to for happiness?
Material things, achievements, success, personal relationships with family and friends, a good social life, fulfilling a career goal, experiencing something new.
Now we all know that happiness is kind of a flimsy feeling considering the rate in which we tend to lose interest in these things, only to quickly go in search of some other source of happiness.
How come our happiness and satisfaction, either in something as insignificant as buying a new dress or as great as graduating college, don’t last forever? Why are we always searching, either consciously or unconsciously for the next thing to fill the void in our hearts with?
It’s important for us to first acknowledge that it is natural for us to be happy about good things. It is okay, good and fine for us to feel good when good things happen to us.
As many of the things mentioned above can be seen as blessings from God and we can all agree that blessings are good things that we can naturally be happy about.
With that said, the important question to ask our self is: what do you depend on for true happiness, fulfillment or satisfaction? What is your happiness attached to?
It is crucial to know that the problem is not necessarily in the things that makes us happy or the things that we find to be good, nor is it in the people, friends or family members that we are glad to have in our lives. Usually, these things and people are good and some of them are even great.
The problem stems from us expecting these things and people to provide the security, satisfaction and love that our heart desperately needs.
That is why even those that have good material things and many more in their lives are never truly satisfied. While those that don’t have the things and people that they believe will make them happy are prone to be in constant discontentment.
Many of us live our lives in constant sadness and despair, believing the lie that says: “If only I have this and that” or “If only so and so is in my life”. We are a lot of dissatisfied people. Always wanting more and constantly looking forward to the next thing that will bring us joy. And of course, there is a good reason for this.
He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver; Nor he who loves abundance, with increase. This also is vanity. -Ecclesiastes 5:10
There is a reason why we can never be truly content in the things that we have attached our hope and happiness to.
These things and people are created things just as we are and it is important for us to set them in their rightful places as God has not blessed us in order for us to replace Him with His own blessings.
When we think about God being a jealous God, we need to understand that God is truly jealous for our heart. We need to understand that God has wired us this way. To be unable to find fulfillment, satisfaction, lasting contentment and true happiness in nothing else but Him.
God made us: invented us as a man invents an engine. A car is made to run on gasoline, and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other. That is why it is just no good asking God to make us happy in our own way without bothering about religion. God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing. – C. S. Lewis
So how do we fight this battle? How do we learn to find true happiness, satisfaction and fulfillment in God Himself?
We become more aware and conscious of the things and people in which we have believed and made out to be our source of happiness, security, hope and satisfaction. We continue to thank God for His blessings while acknowledging that these blessings cannot fully satisfy.
Lastly, we slowly lose our grip on these things. We go on believing, learning and trusting that God Himself is all satisfying.
Happy are the people who are in such a state; Happy are the people whose God is the Lord! -Psalm 144:15
And for those of us that do not know God nor do we have a relationship with Him, please know that it will be absolutely impossible for you to trust and experience Him as all satisfying.
So what can you do to fill this deep void in your heart?
By first believing and acknowledging your need for God, knowing that you are hopeless and lost without Him in your life. Acknowledging that apart from accepting Jesus Christ into your life, living and submitting yourself to Him, there is no other person or thing that can fill the void in your life and help close the gap in your relationship with God.
Then you can go on to build your relationship with God. By communicating with Him through prayer, meditating on His word and spending time in His presence.
In having a relationship with God, we get to know that God is good, He is trustworthy and He is all satisfying.
“Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And let your soul delight itself in abundance. – Isaiah 55:1-2
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