What is the source of your happiness? Is it the job you have? The talent you possess? The money or lack of you had as a child? Why are you in the position you are today?
God doesn’t always give a clear answer to these questions. He doesn’t always give us what we want when we want it, which is frustrating at times. God has a perfect plan, and when our will does not line up with His Will, it gives us some real heartburn. Many times, we see this outlined in the Bible.
Take the story of Elijah and the Sidonian woman (1 Kings 17:8-16). Elijah was sent to this woman by God to help her during a great drought and famine. She was also instructed by God to Help Elijah during his journey. The woman was quite literally about to cook her last meal and then succumb to starvation when Elijah arrived on the scene. Elijah then asks the woman for some water and bread. The woman does not have much to make bread with, and indeed, she doesn’t want to give away the last of her food. However, she does as a command by God and follows Elijah’s instructions. From that point forward, the jars were filled with oil and grain to make bread.
You can read the story for yourself, but the point remains; the woman’s will and God’s Will were most likely not aligned at the beginning of this story. The woman wanted food and was quite literally running out of her perceived source of nourishment. God did not want her to have more at that moment. He wanted her to trust Him and to follow His Will to help Elijah. Because she followed the Will of God, she was never hungry again. God is demonstrating that food is not the source of our nourishment, nor is money or material things the source of our happiness. Happiness and satisfaction are only found at its source, and that source is God.
For this straightforward reason, we must recognize all the gifts in our life, opportunity, money, clothes, etc. as resources given to us by our source, God. It is easy in today’s world to assume the source of our happiness will be found in material possessions, money, or food. We are taught this every day in commercials, Facebook ads, internet banners, and many otherworldly advertisements. However, it never is.
If you’ve ever purchased a car or anything for that matter, you’ve experienced this feeling of instant gratification, followed by a sense of lack. The moment of the purchase is terrific; you’re filled with excitement and joy. However, a week or two weeks later, that item you perceived as giving you joy is now just an item, and you begin to look at other things, hoping they will bring you the joy you seek. Again, the problem is the source of happiness can not be found in anything other than God. Until you realize the source of your true happiness is God, and the tools for happiness are resources given by Him, you will be continuously filled with this sense of lack. The moment you realize God is the source of your joy, and you are thankful for the resources He has allowed you, in that exact moment, you will find peace in the Lord.
“God, you give true peace to people who depend on you, to those who trust in you.” -Isaiah 26:3 ERV
I was inspired by a sermon Dr. Tony Evans did.