by J.E. Berry
Those little droplets of sunshine that touch our skin just right. Those moments or even seasons that bring about the subtlest, most tasty morsels of happiness, that always seem to melt a little too fast, fading slowly back to searching. We chase happiness like a child running after a ball rolling out into the street. What are we chasing really? A moment? A feeling? An experience? An opportunity? An expectation? All that chasing and we may be bordering on danger without knowing because we are so enthralled with the idea of “happy.”
However, our pursuit of happiness is more accurately a need in us crying out to be satisfied, usually having nothing to do with what we are trying to attain for fulfillment. Somehow, we have been reduced to pursing the gift and not the gift giver, leaving us partially satisfied and hungry for more of what may or may not fill the void. The bittersweet nectar of happy that we experience pales in comparison to what has been purchased for us through the cross.
The lasting happiness we are all searching for is a byproduct of a much more sustainable gift that we already possess — JOY. Though happiness is awesome in all its momentary glory, joy has lasting power. Offering a fountain of life-giving “happy” that comes not from circumstantial positioning but is a result of a relational positioning with Christ and an indwelling of His Spirit. His Spirit produces the fruit of joy (Galatians 5:22) within us without any workings of our own (as hard as it is to swallow that truth), and the nectar of that fruit is much sweeter. If we have Christ, we have joy. However just like any good gift, if we never unwrap it, it cannot be enjoyed. But first we must take ourselves out of the producer’s seat and take an honest look at our relationship status.
The Apostle Paul writes “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content” (Philippians 4:11). Why? Because he knows that “God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). Regardless of his circumstances, he knew that he could rejoice because of who had him rather than what he had. His choice to abide in Christ sustained him in every way. Our happiness starts with trust, acknowledgement, and the choice to abide – not with purchases and lifestyle changes. To acknowledge that our God will supply ALL of our needs, spiritually, emotionally, physically,etc., means we understand that He knows our needs in order to supply them. Then we must trust Him to do so and rest in Him.
The fact is, we tend to assume that we know what’s best for us. Unfortunately, we are oblivious to what it takes to make us authentically happy, which is why we are always looking for it, and contentment trails. We have commissioned ourselves to be the “make me happy” commander, leading to our discontentment in the long and short run due to our unqualified position to be such. Our human makeup is created to be sustained and satisfied by one source – our creator. And in all the time we spend searching and grasping for satisfaction in counterfeit gratifications, we miss the satisfier standing right in front of us waiting to lavishly give us His love, His joy, and His provision.
The happiness that we long for is as far off as we determine in hearts for it to be. When we tap into the security and inheritance that we have in Christ and unwrap the gifts that He has given us, we can stop chasing and start living in what is already ours. Happy is not a goal to be met but rather a bloom from an already planted tree. Abide and be rooted in Christ Jesus and the blooming fruit of joy will become ever more tangible as we rest in His lordship.
About J.E.: J.E. Berry is a speaker and the author of “The Truth About Happiness: Exchanging the falsehood of happiness for Christ’s lasting joy.” She is a wife and mother of five children. J.E. has a heart for outreach and seeing people come to know freedom through a relationship with Christ Jesus, specifically women who have yet to see their God-given destiny because of lingering bondage. As an author and speaker, she explores things that hinder us from moving forward in our walk with Christ – such as people pleasing, unhappiness, un-forgiveness and much more – to try and lend a hand in unveiling the culprits so that we can move forward in victory. She carries this same passion into each area of ministry she is active in.