Sunday, May 3, 2015

Happiness or Holiness

The secret is that the treasure we are searching for is different..
The goal is no longer happiness which fades and tarries through disease and pain. Instead the goal is holiness which Christ is faithful to fulfill until His coming

So often we are fooled into thinking that we deserve or can earn a happy, joyful life and that this happiness can be achieved by accomplishing certain means (getting a good degree, better friends, a fine salary, a wonderful marriage, a disciplined walk with God). Yet statistically this happiness thing just isn't working for us. Today millions of Americans struggle with depression and anxiety as root causes for many other temptations and battles with drugs, eating disorders, pornography, crimes ect.

To get real, I have fell into this trap of "the quest for happiness" after returning from the mission field. And for so long, I questioned Why, why am I no longer happy anymore? Why does nothing make me smile and laugh and make my spirit feel full? And I tried counselors, and advice from friends, and books.. but nothing really helped. The more I tried to climb out of this seemingly pit of sadness, the further I felt myself sliding in the mud, wondering if I ever again would feel true joy.

But then something finally hit me- God spoke, and I realized something beautiful and powerful.
When I was in Peru, I was the happiest I had ever been but life was the hardest and most painful it had ever been. Yet that pain did not affect my happiness because I wasn't in Peru to be happy. I was in Peru to be holy and to represent Christ.

As I think about my life this past year, and how much I have struggled with depression, it all makes sense- that as my eyes shifted from Christ and His perfect holiness to myself and things of this world- how could I not be disappointed?

If we are striving for happiness, we are always going to be let down. Because this world is not our home. It's a sad dreary place- even more so when we focus on ourselves. But if our goal is holiness, our eyes are constantly searching upward, looking at our fearless leader Jesus. And as we see His face we experience the most wonderful, breathtaking transformation of our lives as we run and walk with Jesus.

There's a song we sing at camp that goes "Holiness holiness is what I long for. Holiness is what I need. Holiness is what you want from me. Take my life transform it; take my will conform it-take my heart and form it- to yours, to yours Oh Lord."- I pray that this is your prayer as is mine as we endeavor in following the Lord each and every day.

1 Peter 1:15-16 says But just as he who calls you is holy, so be holy in all you do for it is written: "Be holy because I am holy."

May we choose to sacrifice whatever it takes- maybe even our happiness- and strive for the higher treasure of being one of Jesus' most faithful disciples.

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