What are you chasing after in life? Are your goals and desires heavily materialistic? I know naturally and without refocusing on God, it is easy to get stuck on temporary pleasures. Making a conscious derision to chase after more than just the temporary is a journey. I’ve chased after both temporary pleasures and lifelong joy at different points of my life. Here is a quick overview of both of my journeys…
1. Chasing Temporary Pleasures
Pleasure is temporary and based off of your current circumstances.
When I was 19 years old I had saved up enough money to purchase a sports car. I was the first of my friends to be able to afford one, or at least the loan. Based on my circumstances, things were looking great! I loved that car, I cleaned it all the time and was always as happy as could be to drive it and show it off!
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However, this pleasure that I was chasing only lasted for a few months; my circumstances changed. My friends began getting nicer, newer cars. I no longer had what others didn’t, and that is what my very temporary pleasure was based on. I went from being what felt like the happiest person alive, to someone who had come full circle and was unhappy and unfulfilled. (Depressing huh?)
2. Chasing Lifelong Joy
Lifelong Joy comes from Jesus and is a permanent state of mind.
Fast forward 10 years to where I am today; I am no longer focused on temporary happiness. Although my circumstances may change; it does not effect who I am on the inside. I am full of a lifelong joy! My joy is not based on the car that I drive or any other material possession. Instead, my joy is based on my love for Jesus and the understanding of what it means to have the privilege to live for Him. (I’m not saying that my life is perfect and that I never have a bad day. Bad days are part of life.)
I have found that pleasure is a byproduct of joy. When I spend time with God in the morning by opening His word, listening for His voice, worshiping and praying; my entire day is changed! I am full of His joy, and because of this, my pleasure and fulfillment comes from Him.
“The joy of the Lord is my strength!” – Nehemiah 8:10
As believers we need to decide that we will no longer base our happiness or joy on temporary pleasures and circumstances. If we learn to refocus on Jesus, and our eternity with Him, something truly changes inside of us. We can practically do this by setting aside time to reflect on how important He truly is in our lives, by worshiping, praying and reading the Bible. If each of us learns to make these 4 things more of a priority in our lives, we will begin to walk in a greater level of lifelong joy.
I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live… This is God’s gift to man. – Ecclesiastes 3:12-13