Where to find true happiness
“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace. In the world you have tribulation and distress and suffering, but be courageous [be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy]; I have overcome the world.” [My conquest is accomplished, My victory abiding.]”
John 16:33 AMP
The Christian life isn’t a trouble-free life; it’s a troubled-free life. Jesus said we’d have trouble (tribulation, distress and suffering) in this life, but that shouldn’t stop us from being filled with joy. No matter what our circumstances are like, we should be the happiest people on the face of the earth – because we are in Christ (which means that our victory is eternal). What often causes us to loseour joy and peace is that we tend to focus on and value the temporal more than the eternal (spiritual). We would do well to remember that we are in this world but not of it (John 17:16) and we are citizens of heaven (Philippians 3:20). Our supply is not of this world. We are not limited by the world’s economy because God provides for us according to His economy: His riches in glory (Philippians 4:19)! What’s going on in the world’s economy shouldn’t determine our joy and peace.
“So we do not look at what we can see right now, the troubles all around us, but we look forward to the joys in heaven which we have not yet seen. The troubles will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.”
2 Corinthians 4:18 TLB
We often give way to worry, fear and unhappiness because we are more focused on things which are temporal. If your happiness is dependent on finances, then you will always be at risk of being unhappy and not experiencing the joy of the Lord.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.”
Matthew 6:19 NKJV
Jesus is encouraging us to focus on the eternal more than on the temporary. But He isn’t saying to ignore the here-and-now. Even Jesus considered His earthly needs; He was hungry and He paid taxes (Mark 11:12; Matthew 17:24-27). Jesus is not speaking against savings, or leaving an inheritance for your children – the Bible encourages both of those. Jesus is talking about laying up treasure for yourself. The purpose of wealth isn’t so that I can be wealthy, it’s so that I can be a blessing by helping to expand God’s kingdom (Deuteronomy 8:18). The reason for not laying up treasures on this earth is so that we will not have our hearts drawn away from the God and the things of God. Money is a big contender for your heart! It is so easy to lust after money and focus on the things it can provide. We should be focused on God and seeking His will, not our lusts. True happiness is found in the will of God, not in our desires being fulfilled. God’s way to prosper is different from that of the world – in God’s kingdom wealth and prosperity is a by-product of seeking Him (Matthew 6:33).
Money is not evil; it is a temporal tool that we can use to impact eternity by impacting lives now. Money and wealth should never be our focus: it should be a by-product of seeking God, and it should remain a tool for us to accomplish great things for Him.
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