Call off the Hunt for Happiness

I double tied my sneakers, threw my hair back into a ponytail, and grabbed my earphones. My eye caught the reflection I made in the mirror as I passed, and I hesitated for just a moment before moving in. I critiqued my body. “Ahh, I can’t wait till these workouts start showing some reward. Then I can look in the mirror and be happy with what I see.”

I’d resolved to start working out every day. (Again!) I told myself it was for the sake of healthy living. But in truth, I wanted happiness. And I had convinced myself that having the ideal body would bring it. Working out isn’t bad; it’s good! But there’s not a workout routine, stretch of track, or pair of sneakers great enough to grant me lasting happiness.

At the beginning of time, happiness was found in spending time with God. But in the Garden of Eden, Satan convinced Eve that she would not die even if she disobeyed God’s law. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Gen. 3:4–5).

He was offering her the chance to see how happy she would be in choosing her own way instead of God’s. When Eve sunk her teeth into that fruit, it was like the starting pistol of a race fired and a worldwide search began. From that moment, we’ve all been looking for something. I call it the Hunt for Happiness.

This hunt is completely exhausting. It’s an endless circle of looking to other people, things, even inside ourselves, searching for happiness. But the things around us are never enough, and desperation starts to kick in. We stop eating and obsess about exercising, or we flirt and flaunt to get that guy to give us attention. We spend hours at the mirror, trying to make ourselves look perfect. But no matter how hard we try, happiness escapes us.

God didn’t design us to be fulfilled by any earthly thing.

The situation may seem hopeless, but God has given us the solution. Although the world is on this constant hunt for happiness, God didn’t design us to be fulfilled by any earthly thing. We weren’t created to be happy because of our body, our boyfriend, or our stuff. God designed us to find our happiness in Him. But we’re so used to the hunt, we wonder, “How do I start?” Here are three things that can help in realigning your focus and finding true happiness in Jesus.

1. Compare, despair.

“Comparison is the thief of joy” Theodore Roosevelt said. And it’s true. When we compare ourselves to others, it’s a happiness thief. So next time we’re tempted to compare, let’s remind ourselves of the truth. Memorizing Scripture is a great way to do this. Here are some verses that might help:

2. Actively serve others (Mark 10:45).

Have you ever noticed how people who have a lifestyle of putting others first often seem more content and happy than those who are living for themselves? When we pour into other people’s lives, our own outlook becomes brighter.

3. Call off the hunt (2 Cor. 3:5).

When we pour into other people’s lives, our own outlook becomes brighter.

Daily surrender your desires to your Creator. His love is unending, and we can be fulfilled, content, and happy when our happiness is grounded in Christ. Reminding ourselves of the truth, serving those around us, and daily surrendering to Jesus are ways we can truly be content and happy, no matter what’s going on in our lives.

So what is it in your life that you’re tempted to find happiness in? Can you think of a time when you decided to find happiness and contentment in Jesus instead? I’d love to hear about it, so comment below!

About Author

Liza Proch

As a Jesus-follower, blog-loving writer, and coffee-drinker, Liza is constantly looking for new ways to inspire and encourage other young women in their walk with Christ. She recently launched a hand lettering company and blog of her own (BriarberryType.com), and lives in the sunny hill country of Texas where she's in a band with her three brothers.

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  • Emily

    I love this post Liza! There’s this beautiful quote by John Piper: “God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in Him.” The fact that earthly things cannot satisfy me, drive me to my knees time and time again and it gives me a steadfast hope of heaven, my real Home.

    As I deal with the consequences of long-term abuse and sexual slavery in my childhood (both psychological, emotional and physical consequences), finding my joy and peace in my Lord of Joy and Prince of Peace, Christ Jesus, is for me the only way to even make it through another day. It’s a tough way of living – but ow, it’s a beautiful way of living too! It makes me walk so much closer to my Lord and Saviour and the more I know Him, the more I am satisfied and the more He is glorified. My pain and sorrow allows me to live for His glory alone, and I must say it makes me life so very much worthy of living.

    Thank you again for posting this!

    Love,
    Emily

    • Myranda

      Thanks Emily!!!! The John Piper quote is nice, but I’d like to quote you! “The fact that earthly things cannot satisfy me, drive me to my knees time and again and it gives me steadfast hope of heaven, my real Home.” Trying to live as a Christian and acknowledge my past at the same time is something I struggle with. I think I needed your inspiration to take that hard stuff to him in prayer BEFORE I try to find something in this world to help me through, instead of praying AFTER every earthly thing has failed to help.

  • Cami

    I know that this is a little off the subject but a lack of assurance of salvation had been robbing a considerable part of my of happiness. I keep wondering if I repented right or if I really have genuine fruit so I doubt whether I am saved or not. I know the verse “Look unto me and be ye saved” so I know that I must look to Jesus and not myself but I still wonder if I repented and if I have fruits worthy of repentance. Sometimes I even wonder if I really have faith. Anybody has some answers?

    • Emily

      Ow hon, I’m gonna give this a try!

      If you realize that you are a sinner and that in the face of a holy God you cannot exist, meaning you deserve hell and if you realize that you need Christ and that He alone can save you, because He paid the price for your sins on the cross and faced Gods wrath for you – if you know that and said that to God, you repented. Repentance isn’t about the right words, it’s about the right heart, the right attitude, it’s the realization that we lack Gods standards – daily! And that we need a Saviour, that we need Jesus.

      As for the fruits… I believe that it is something that naturally grows as we are in Christ and that it’s a normal response to His love for us. It’s a way of living that expresses our love, gratitude and dedication to Him. We don’t grow it ourselves, just like fruit doesn’t grow itself, it’s Gods power in us that makes it grow. And growing takes time and work and it’s often very painful. In the end it’s about dying to the sins – every single day – that Jesus died for. It’s sanctification and that’s a lifelong process that will be finished on the other side of eternity.

      I hope some of that helps you a bit.

      • Cami

        Thanks a lot for the answer! Honestly, I consistently see the fact that I don’t measure up to God’s standards. But it’s so great to realize that God’s righteousness is freely given to us by faith in Jesus Christ.

        My thoughts change so much. Sometimes I see these things and sometimes I doubt. I want to be closer to God and really know Him so that these doubts will go away!

        Oh to always look to Him and never to myself.

  • Damilola Adetunji

    Honestly, a lot of times, i’m tempted to find happiness in money. At those times, I feel that as long as I’m financially buoyant, my happiness is sure and secure. But I’ve come to realize that no matter how much money I have, the urge to want more recurs, and hence, it is apparent that money can never satisfy or bring happiness and contentment. Only Jesus can and i’m on the journey to finding utmost happiness in him alone.

  • Cami

    oh and another thing : isn’t repenting turning away from sin?

  • Lollypop

    I have struggled with comparing myself to others, but one time at youth God told me to stop and just be content with me.