3. It’s about My Happiness
Happiness is not the goal of life. Happiness is a feeling—joy is a state of being. God wants us to have joy, which is that special place of resting in the hope and truth that God is and always will be. We are assured eternal life when we repent and believe in Jesus Christ. Joy, and its byproduct the feeling of happiness, comes when we walk in alignment with God and God’s wishes.
But culture often tells us happiness can be achieved through earthly things, such as an exciting job, lots of money, good health, a balanced marriage, kids, the “right” house or car or neighborhood, etc.
Jesus reminds us that we are to focus not on this world but on God’s heavenly kingdom. As He tells us in Matthew 6:19-20, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.”
The apostle John echoes this when he urges, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world” (1 John 2:15-16).
Real happiness is steeped in joy, and comes from serving God and doing God’s will.
“You make known to me the path of life,” David shares in Psalm 16:11. “You will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”
4. I Can Do Anything I Set My Mind To
You can do it. You’ve got this. Mind over matter. These are all empowering sentiments, but they all conveniently ignore the truth: We are mere humans. We are not God.
Many Christians are familiar with the apostle Paul’s epiphany in his letter to the Philippians: “I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13). But often, we seize onto the first portion of this—I can do all. The most important aspect of this is the source of this empowerment: the Lord God. God is the one who gives us strength and might. When we operate on our own, separate from the Lord, we fall flat. But when we operate in tandem with the Lord, following His lead and walking in His ways, relying on Him to provide and strengthen and empower and guide, that’s the real power source.
Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 12:13 that we were all baptized by one Spirit to form one body. A few verses prior, he tells us we all have different gifts, different “manifestations” of the Spirit to be used for the common good (v. 7). One person might be gifted in healing, while another has wisdom. But when we are one with God, part of the full body in perfect union with the Spirit, that’s when we can do all.
On our own, we are imperfect, weak. Only with God can we do all things.
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