Monday, November 30, 2009
Nothing steals your joy like thinking, "I will enjoy my life when ..."
It's very tempting to think that happiness will come to me once I get something: "I would be happy if I just had a bigger house, another car, a better job, more money, a different wife, a nicer family, a new TV...." But such thoughts are very deceptive.
In truth, all those things we want actually make us miserable; we fight and quarrel about what we want, and then we're upset when we don't get it (see James 4:1-4). Don't get caught up in things that you want or need. Instead, you should not worry about getting what you need; rest assured your heavenly Father will take care of what you need (see Matthew 6:30-32).
It's foolish to make your enjoyment of life hinge upon anything. There will always be one more thing for you to acquire before you can "enjoy life." The more you have, the more you have to worry about, which makes life that much harder to enjoy.
Instead of expecting possessions or circumstances to give you joy, seek the only source of everlasting joy—Jesus. Jesus says he came to Earth "so that [you] may have the full measure of my joy within [you]" (John 17:13). Similarly, Jesus said, "I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete" (John 15:11). Jesus offers to make our joy complete and to give us the full measure of his joy. Since Jesus is wholly God, His joy is complete and whole joy. That Jesus offers us such joy is astonishing.
Therefore, find your joy in God for in his presence is fullness of joy (see Psalm 16:11). Don't let your joy depend on getting all the things you want because there will always be more things that you don't have, and therefore there will always be more things that will prevent you from enjoying life. Let Jesus be your joy, rather than waiting to enjoy life "when...."