I believe that deep down, happiness is the object we crave most. From the size of the entertainment industry in America, one could conclude that we are in desperate need of happiness. It is the “end all of end alls.”
But did you know that counterfeit happiness is often the most expensive kind? For example, a lot of people seek happiness in an alcoholic or narcotic daze: they snort cocaine, smoke marijuana, drink alcohol, or shoot heroin. But, the “high” only lasts for a while, and eventually there’s a terrible price to pay.
Others seek happiness in collecting art, buying expensive cars, or just collecting more stuff. But when the stock market tumbles, or thieves steal their treasure, or they just grow bored with their newest toy, that happiness bursts like a bubble.
Still others find happiness in sexual immorality. But when their marriages crumble, or they test positive for an incurable disease, or they wake up to realize they’ve lost the capacity to really care about anyone else, they discover how expensive that “happiness” was!
Yes, counterfeit happiness often is the most expensive kind, because in the end, it always costs more than it’s worth. Lasting happiness doesn’t come from a beer bottle, or a marijuana joint, or through a hollow needle. You can’t buy it with a gold credit card, and it isn’t found in an adulterous rendezvous.
Genuine happiness is not a requirement of being a Christian, it is a consequence. It is not what we have to acquire in order to experience life in Jesus; it is what comes to us when we are walking in the way of faith. Genuine happiness happiness will not only permit you to enjoy what is really good and pure in life, it also comes with God’s promise of eternal salvation. The psalmist wrote, “Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God” (Psalm 146:5). Solomon added, “Whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he” (Proverbs 16:20).
Adapted from Wayne S. Walker