There are certain things in life that make me happy. Coffee, cats, hanging out with my family, rainy days, hiking, reading, and popcorn (just to name a few). I know for sure that these things make me happy. I also know that God makes me happy. My relationship with God brings me joy and peace but if I am being honest, I don’t think that relationship will make me as happy as other things in life. I know God brings me happiness, but I don’t live as if He brings me ultimate happiness.
While reading Gay Girl Good God by Jackie Hill Perry, I realized something that I already knew within (because I have lived and struggled with it over the years), but have never understood or brought it to light.
During her conversion, she mentions that maybe God would not only give her joy, but be her joy! (page 74) How long have I lived knowing that God gives me joy, He blessed me with life and includes in it things I love. However, the source of joy that I get from my life doesn’t come from things but from the Creator of those things. How often have I worshipped the creation more than the Creator himself?
Romans 1:25 “Because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.”
Every morning I wake up I have a battle to either spend some time with the Creator, or instead with creation. The decision I make reveals what I believe will bring me most happiness. I have always assumed that choosing God was choosing between my desires and Him. I believe most people think like that, because that is what I have always been taught in youth groups, Sunday school, etc.. As humans, we choose what makes us happy and what we desire, why would we choose anything different? So the “trick” isn’t to choose God over our desires or happiness but to realize that in God lies our happiness and our ultimate desire!
I love how Jackie Hill Perry puts it, “Why hadn’t they ever mentioned the place happiness had within righteousness, or how the taking up of the cross would be a practice of obtaining delight? Delight in all that God is?” (page 83)
Imagine how different life would be if we lived not with this nagging burden of duty to choose God instead of happiness, but instead lived in the truth that God is our ultimate happiness.
Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.“
I have always known my happiness doesn’t rest in my husband, family, things, knowledge etc… But I never realized I didn’t believe and live by the fact that my ULTIMATE happiness lies in God. Instead of waking up everyday and struggling to choose between whether I want to “suffer” by choosing God or delight by choosing other things, I know now that by choosing God is my ultimate delight. How that truth has changed my heart! How that truth can change the heart of someone who doesn’t know God either!
I hope this realization changes your heart and mindset the way it has mine. By living in the truth that our ultimate maximum happiness is in Christ imagine the impact it will have on you and those around you.