Today I read about King Saul. He was ruler over God’s people, hand-chosen by God through the prophet Samuel because the people wanted a human king to rule over them. Saul himself proclaimed his surprise since he was from the smallest of the tribes of Israel (Benjamites) and his family the least in the tribe of Benjamin. And yet he quickly grew accustomed to being king. He began to disobey the orders of God who had placed him in that position in the first place. Then, when the Lord annointed David to take over, Saul became jealous. He was not thankful for the opportunity to be king. He wanted to rule forever. He did everything in his power to stay in power, including attempted murder on David.
This is a picture of the human condition. While many of us might not go to the same lengths and be as extreme as Saul was, if we are honest with ourselves, we each seek out our own happiness. We cling to it as if it was our everything, and we kick and scream (internally and/or externally) if something or someone gets in the way of our happiness.
There’s nothing wrong with seeking out our happiness, but the good majority of us are looking in the wrong place/thing/person/toy/relationship/activity, etc. You have the people who want to travel the world and they have so many tales to tell. Or those who have to have the latest things to be happy. There are the adventurers. Everything has to always be so epic. They have to experience life. Thrill seekers. And there are those who seek happiness in their families, their careers, and even the pursuit of happiness itself.
Like I said, nothing necessarily wrong in and of these things. But ask yourself, what type of person are you? What is it that truly makes you happy? You don’t have to ask if you seek happiness because you already know that you do. But sit down and really think: what makes me happy? The reality of it all is that anything apart from Christ will perish and disappear forever. I know, I know. Terrible thing to say. Worse to think about. Loved ones, best friends, cherished memories. TVs, cars, houses. All gone. When people start to realize this, there are usually two responses: fear or fun. Those who fear will live hopeless lives, filled with paranoia and a bitter hatred towards the world. Those who just want to have fun? Well, the try to enjoy life as much as possible. Either way, both will end up the same. Both were operating under the same desire to be happy, to be satisfied. Really, everything we do is controlled by that. Just stop and ask yourself why you do the things you do each day.
But there is hope. There is hope in Christ. He offers the most amazing gift of eternal life. He offers true meaning and purpose. He offers true joy and happiness. You see, the problem is that we all have a longing to be satisfied. However, because of sin, we are separated from the source of satisfaction. The only One who can and has bridged the gap between the Holy God and sinful men is Christ, who died for the sins of those who trust in Him.
This doesn’t mean we necessarily walk around with a stupid smile plastered on our faces. We struggle with sin daily. We have to fight for joy many times because we see how messed up we are, we see how short we fall of God’s perfection. But we have joy because our forgiveness, our eternal treasure, our hope of heaven, is secured through Christ. It’s not based on what I can do. That is amazing news. Simply amazing.