The End Goal is Not Our Happiness

“We mistakenly look for tokens of God’s love in happiness. We should instead look for them in His faithful and persistent work to conform us to Christ.”

-Jerry Bridges

I had to read this quote more than once to let it sink in.

How often had I looked for proof of God’s love in my own happiness?

Lots and lots of times. I am guilty through and through.

I’ll give you an example. Over the summer we were working diligently on the fixer upper we had just purchased while still living in our cabin. We were bursting at the seams, and had a neighbor who moved into the neighborhood a few months prior who really disliked our dog. Now, our dog did bark at him, but he provoked her by doing things like laying down on his horn while driving by our house. We were trying to move as quickly as possible, but I reached a breaking point before our home was ready. So with one days notice, we rented a u-Haul and slept on air mattresses in our half finished home.

All praise to God, we had just finished the kitchen renovation. It was quite disgusting, with roach carcasses in most of the cabinetry. We should have seen it coming, but about a week after moving in we discovered…

Bedbugs.

Ladies, it was then that I reached my breaking point. I had thought that we were following God’s will…why did everything seem so hard? Why wasn’t I happy?

It did end well. We caught the pests early it seemed when they started to emerge from the walls. We called an exterminator, and $1,000 later, we were bed bug free.

I still shudder when I think about it, though.

Moving, during a pandemic, with an irate neighbor, into a home with bedbugs, was not on my radar. At the time, I couldn’t see how this experience could be used by God to conform me to be like His Son. But it did. It honed my patience, and contentment. It taught me to keep my eyes on things above, and that I shouldn’t be looking for tokens of God’s love in my happiness.

The proof of God’s love is found in His quest to make us holy.

For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,

Colossians 3:3-10

Times are uncertain for most of us right now. It would be so easy to say, Why God? I just want to be happy! But His plans our not our plans, and His thoughts are not our thoughts. If you belong to Him, He is working to conform you to His Son’s image as we speak.

This is amazing, wonderful news, and shouldn’t be feared!
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.

Ephesians 1:3-5

He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. He has chosen us before the foundation of the world to be adopted as sons (and daughters).

He has chosen us to be a light to those around us, and especially to those in our homes. We must teach our children the difference between happiness and holiness. Happiness is fleeting, while holiness is the absolute proof of God’s love. He loves you and your family so much!

Be encouraged today! I’ve been writing a lot about faith lately, and I hope you don’t mind. I figure that with everything going on in the world today, we (including myself) need it. Blessings!

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