Sunday, July 8, 2012

Elusive Happiness

Elusive Happiness
July 9, 2012
Eph 3:19 "and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."

Happiness is sought after but rarely attained.  We all make efforts to be happy, engaging in activities we think will bring us happiness.  Usually, though, those efforts leave us feeling empty, maybe even worse than before we started our quest.  Our rationale is that when we have whatever it is we are striving for, THEN we will be happy.  But when we get what we want, we always seem to want something more, something different, because we didn't actually achieve happiness.  Happiness seems elusive; it IS elusive.  We feel an emptiness inside, a void, that we want to fill with something that makes us feel good.  No one wants to feel emotional discomfort; we want to feel happy, to BE happy.  While the desire to be happy is common, it is achieved by only a few, those who have figured out the key to happiness.  The key to happiness is something you can only understand when and if you experience it.

The key is found in what you are trying to put into that empty space inside of you.  I cannot teach it to you, and I don't always have it myself.  Happiness is revealed as a direct result of having a relationship with the Lord.  Happiness is not the actual relationship, but what comes from having that relationship; it is being filled with all the fullness of God.  We feel emptiness inside because we are not filled with Him.  The only one that can fill us is the Heavenly Father, and the only thing that will satiate the emptiness is being filled with His love.  We have been programmed to not feel loved unless we think we deserve it, as love in the human sense is usually conditional.  We carry that belief over into our relationship with the Lord and don't understand why we still feel emptiness, the lack of happiness.

Recognizing this human tendency to block out the Lord's love and therefore hinder happiness, the Apostle Paul wrote about it in a prayer.  Ephesians 3:15-19 contains a prayer for us, explaining the fullness of God.  Read it for yourself.  It is a power that is brought to us through His love, an experience of being full of Him that satisfies all the emptiness inside.  But you cannot be full of the Lord while you are full of everything else.  To be full of the Lord, and His power, you have to spend time in His presence.  And you cannot be in His presence while you are sinning; therefore sin and happiness are mutually exclusive.  

You cannot be selfish and still pursue happiness.  You cannot be full of the Lord's love and full of greed or hatred.  You cannot be full of the Lord's love if you are bitter and angry.  You cannot be full of the Lord's love if you ignore Him, don't spend any time with him, and generally have a disregard for His Word in your life.  In other words, you cannot be happy if you are disregarding the Lord.  But the opposite is true, as well.  If you have an amazing relationship with the Lord, then you have every opportunity in this world to be truly happy, to fill what is empty in your life by experiencing His love for you.  Though you may have felt His love once or twice, it takes a constant effort to block everything out (worry, fear, anger, frustration, jealousy) in order to have His presence constantly.  If you don't feel loved, then you aren't spending enough time in His presence or being filled with Him, and you won't EVER be happy.  Show me an unhappy person and I will show you a person who is not filled with ALL the FULLNESS of God.

Don't take my word for it; look it up: John 3:29, John 16:24, Eph 3:14-21

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