Have you ever said that about your life? Come on be honest! Maybe you are thinking that very thing at this moment and sure don’t need me to remind you. What is it in us that seeks, that never seems to be content? We continue to dream, to wonder about what life would be like if something were different. If we had a different job, different income, different set of skills, different spouse? We could go on and on. You know, the grass is always greener on the other side. We continue to compare our lives to those around us thinking that they are so lucky, so blessed. “Why can’t I be so lucky?” Not realizing they are just as discontent as we are. They are just caught in the same rat race. We are putting on that facade in front of others because Lord knows we don’t want anyone to actually know this about us. Then, our lives are spent not in the moment, not enjoying what we do have and realizing how blessed we truly are, but always being discontented, always wishing for more, for different, something else. That is not to say there are not moments or even seasons of “happiness”, but overall are we really happy? That brings to mind the questions, “where do we find happiness and contentment?” and “where are we looking for these things?”
I have come to learn that happiness does not come from things. Remember as a child, or if you have children, how happy and excited they are on Christmas morning with the toy they have longed for for weeks, even months, and sometimes not even 24 hours later that “special” toy is in the corner. They are on to something else. Or remember when you thought you had to have that _________. Then, you finally got it, but after the new wore off you were back to where you were before, looking for the next “thing”.
Happiness doesn’t come from people. Sure, the people in our lives can either bring us joy and enrich our lives or they can bring us heartache and hurt our lives, but ultimately people do not fulfill the void, the emptiness so many of us experience. The reason is that people are imperfect. We make mistakes, let others down. We don’t always do what we say we will do. Sometimes we smell bad. Sometimes we are grumpy. Sometimes we straight up do something to hurt others. Our happiness will not be found in the people around us.
Happiness is not found in our jobs. Jobs come and go, bosses can be good or bad.
We could go on and on. So where does that leave us? Depressed? Maybe you are making a mental note to stop reading anything I write! But that is not the end of it.
I am sure we all know that person who is so happy. They may not have much or have what we think is needed to be happy, but they are content, a joy to be around. No matter their circumstances, they exude happiness. Where does that happiness come from? Is there more to life? Is there fulfillment to be had? And where in the world did they find it? We have to look in the right place.
The truth is, happiness comes from One Person! It is said of this Person that “in Him is life, and the life is the light of men.” It says that this Man is “full of grace and truth”. It is said of this Man that he came to take away my sins and the sins of the world! Wow! Someone who can take away what is wrong with me, the things that I try to hide from those around me. The things I am ashamed of and want to change! It even says we receive “grace for grace”! That is favor that I do not deserve! I am afraid we throw that word around not realizing its full impact! Grace is not getting what I deserve and in return getting favor and blessings that I DO NOT deserve! Here is the problem. Many have a misunderstanding of this Man. We think that following him and becoming a Christian is no more than choosing Christianity over the other religions. We think that they all have their lists of right and wrong, or rules, and when we choose Christianity that just means we follow those rules found in the Bible. If we chose Buddhism, then we would follow the rules of the Buddha.
Let me be clear. Being a Christian is not about following a set of rules or guidelines. It is about a relationship with Jesus Christ. The One who came to take away all that is wrong with us. It is about faith in Him. It is about learning who we are, where we came from and who we are in Him. It is said of Jesus’ followers that they “are complete in Him”. You see, we find our happiness, joy, contentment, and purpose in Him. Jesus loves you and He wants to fill that void in your heart. He wants to fill that emptiness you have with His joy, contentment, and peace. He died on the cross so that all who believe in Him will receive the forgiveness of sin and eternal life. What happens when we believe in Him is the great exchange! He takes our sin and gives us His righteousness! The more we realize this and learn about it, the more peace and joy and contentment we find!