“and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,”
(Heb. 10:24; NASB)
It would be safe to say everyone would like to live a happy, fulfilled life. There have been thousands of books written, songs sung, and movies made trying to answer the question of how to achieve this elusive happiness. Some think they know what will make them happy, but just can’t get there. Some feel as though they’re getting there, even though it feels like the carrot dangling in front of the horse. No matter how hard they try or how fast they go, the carrot always seems just beyond their reach. After a while it can seem like living a happy and fulfilled life is a dream we all have, but it is just that, a dream. One that keeps us motivated for a time but will never become a reality.
It is an old saying that “one man’s meat is another man’s poison.” In other words, what one person needs to feel happy and fulfilled is not what someone else needs to get the same satisfaction. On the surface this might seem right, but it is not true. God made us in His image which means we have a thread that holds us together. It is a common thread that motivates each of us at our core. Scripture tells us God is love. This means the thread that holds us together is God’s love. It is something we all need from birth. It was His love for us that motivated Him to sacrifice His Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins, which offers us eternal life if we believe in Him. It is also God’s love that answers the question we’ve been considering here.
Happiness and fulfillment are the result of inner peace. It is not happiness we are seeking. The peace that can only come from God is what is really desired, and we cannot get that from outside sources. It is a peace that comes from our loving Him. The Lord told us how to achieve that peace: love Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength; and love your neighbor as yourself (see Mark 12:30-31). If we make this your goal, outside influences will not dictate your sense of joy and fulfillment. Happiness is a fleeting emotion and, contrary to popular belief, is not a part of fulfillment and satisfaction. Confronting a serious situation might not make you happy at the moment, but if you seek God in the struggle, He will draw you closer to Him. This allows you to experience true victory regardless of the outcome of the present battle. That, in turn, brings inner peace. It is God that brings the peace, not the circumstance.
Showing God’s love to others through your actions will motivate those you influence to do the same for someone else. When you do this and see how God takes your heart motive and creates outcomes far greater than you could imagine, you will be encouraged to do more. If you want to feel good and experience true joy, help someone else in their need and give God the glory for it all.
Have a great week and God bless.