How Can We Experience True and Lasting Happiness and Joy?

We live in a society that believes joy and happiness come when we attain complete self-autonomy; when we are controlled by no one but ourselves. This is evidenced by a number of legal and cultural battles that have been waged over the last year. Obergefell removed the Christian strictures on marriage. Bathroom ordinances are being enacted, struck down, and fought over. Just yesterday the Supreme Court struck down Texas’ abortion clinic restrictions. These cases and battles signal that any encroachment on personal autonomy and self-rule will not be tolerated.

More To It

These fights and cases, however, are about more than marriage, bathrooms, and terminating a pregnancy. They are about more than change and progress.

These fights arise from and signal our sinful desire to rule ourselves, to be our own gods.

It is believed, even if it is not admitted, that ruling our lives in place of God will finally provide the joy and happiness man desires. But, if you notice, one victory just leads to another battle. Another cause to be championed is always around the next corner. That’s because throwing off the strictures of God’s rule will never provide the happiness and joy we desire. The sweet taste of victory fades quickly, and a new battle that promises joy and happiness when won must take its place. The search is never ending.

The Search Can Be Over

The Psalmist, however, paints a different picture for us. He tells us that:

“Those who look to him are radiant” (Ps. 34:5a)

In other words, those who turn to, instead of away from, God will experience the joy and happiness for which they long.

So instead of casting off all reason and logic in an effort to rule ourselves, we need to turn to God. We need to submit to Him and His Law. He is our Creator, and living in the way He has designed will always be better for us in the end. It will provide the joy and happiness for which we long, as well as a well ordered and thriving society.

“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” (Ps. 34:8)

Question for Reflection

  1. Do you believe self-autonomy provides lasting happiness and joy?

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