Temporary happiness can come from a buckle, eternal joy comes from God

Temporary happiness can come from a buckle, eternal joy comes from God

By Scott Hilgendorff / Cowboys of the Cross

It’s pretty common in the culture around us that people pursue what makes them happy. Half the advertisements on tv are showing people being made happy driving expensive trucks or using the latest phone upgrades.

We tell ourselves to chase our dreams or that we only have one life to live, so we should do whatever we need to make us happy.

We should cut loose the people who make us unhappy. We should surround ourselves with people who help us make our dreams come true.

It isn’t that God wants us to be unhappy, but these are lies that take our focus off of Him.

Matthew 6:19-21 Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Verse 21 in particular makes it clear that what we chase reveals what we value the most—the pursuit of worldly happiness that is temporary and easily taken from us or destroyed, or the hope of eternal joy in Heaven.

It’s okay to have goals. How we work to achieve them can be done in a way that points people to Jesus and brings God glory. But when our happiness depends on winning a buckle at a rodeo finals or qualifying for the PBR and we don’t achieve that goal, it can be devastating for some of us.

And cutting people loose who we think hold us back from our dreams isn’t as Biblical as surrounding ourselves with mature Christians who can help us grow more like Jesus while working to restore broken relationships and pointing others to Jesus.

God isn’t asking us to be miserable in our time here. He knows there are going to be plenty times where we face challenges and hardships. He gives us teaching and encouragement in the Bible to help us get through those difficult times.

And He created what we call the fruit of the Spirit which are attributes that grow inside of us that show us our salvation is real as we become more and more like Jesus.

Galatians 5:22-23 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Joy, as one of those fruits, can still be a temporary feeling but it’s something that can get stronger in us each time we feel it and it is largely tied to seeing and interacting with the world through our understanding of who we are as Christians and what the Bible teaches us.

Joy is much deeper than happiness and while there will be times we feel sadness, joy can always be found when we turn our attention to God and all the good that waits for us in Heaven. Pursuing joy brings glory to God while pursuing happiness is all about ourselves.

Psalm 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

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