We all want to be happy. No cost or expense is spared on our quest for happiness. Satan, the world and our own sinful flesh try to seduce us with all kinds of tantalizing promises; but if we follow them we won’t find happiness. No, instead, at the end of the day, at the end of our lives, we will come to the realization it was all a lie and all we’re left with is sin and guilt, shame and pain. Yet our craving for happiness can’t be stifled. We search, we blindly grasp, we waste our time, we waste our lives, but the truth is, this world has nothing for us. Although it may come in glittery wrapping, its promises prove to be empty and worthless and ultimately end in death.
And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: 1 John 2:17a
But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. James 1:14-15
So where is the only place where true happiness, real joy, can be found?
In the One who made us.
In Thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. Psalm 16:11b
Jesus commands us not only to come to Him (Matt 11:28) and believe in Him (John 6:29) but also to abide in Him.
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. John 15:4
And we can know we are abiding in Him because He has given us His Spirit.
Hereby know we that we dwell in Him, and He in us, because He hath given us of His Spirit. 1 John 4:13
And when we abide in Him we bear fruit. Out of Him flows the love and joy and peace and patience and gentleness and goodness and faith and meekness and self-control that we’ve been missing in our lives. As we abide in Him we finally experience the true happiness our souls crave.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
But abiding requires obedience. We need to deny ourselves, say no to sin and keep His commandments.
If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father's commandments, and abide in His love. John 15:10
And he that keepeth His commandments dwelleth in Him, and He in him. And hereby we know that He abideth in us, by the Spirit which He hath given us. 1 John 3:24
He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked. 1 John 2:6
And it might seem hard sometimes, this denying ourselves and obeying God, but it is so worth it!
And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. 1 John 2:17
How awesome it is to know the love of Christ that passes all knowledge and be filled with the fullness of God! Now that is true happiness!
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:17-19
And think about our future. We know we all must die, unless Jesus returns first, but either way we all have to appear before the judgment seat of Christ.
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. 2 Corinthians 5:10
And now, little children, abide in Him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. 1 John 2:28