Two Important Things That Could Be Missing from Your Life—And Where to Find Them
Most people spend their entire lives looking for two important things: truth and happiness. Some people will spend loads of money trying to fulfil their desire to know what’s real and what can really—finally—make them happy.
Looking for Truth
When you try to look through a dirty window, or perhaps one that has been painted or covered with paper, what can you see? If you’re lucky, you might see a cloudy impression of what’s on the other side of the glass. But you mightn’t be able to see anything at all.
That’s what it’s like when your beliefs are based on what others tell you rather than what’s in the Bible. In Ephesians 4:18, the apostle Paul tells us that when we base our thoughts and behaviour on anything other than God, our thinking is “darkened”, futile—pointless. It doesn't matter how long you stare, if the glass is clouded or covered, you won’t be able to see through it.
That doesn't mean that people who don’t know God are stupid. Of course not! But it does mean that when we try to live without God, things that don’t really matter seem massive. That can make life seem hopeless!
Without taking God into account, it is impossible to see or understand what’s really important. God, through His message in the Bible, clears the window glass so we can see the truth and the goodness He wants us to experience with Jesus—both now on earth and later in heaven.
Searching for Happiness
You've heard the phrase “empty calories”. It’s easy to completely lose count of how many crisps or biscuits you've eaten whilst sitting in front of the telly. And for all the taste and crunch, those foods aren't filling or satisfying and, worse, have no nutritional value at all.
A lot of things are like that—activities in which we participate in hopes of having a good time, but in the end leave us feeling miserable about ourselves. It’s exactly what the Bible explains in Ephesians 4:19, when it describes people who have “given themselves over to sensuality” yet lose “all sensitivity”.
A recent article in The Irish Times about child pornography gave an extreme but sadly far too common example of how people seek out fun and happiness in the wrong places and end up becoming totally desensitized to what is harmful and even evil. The scariest thing about the story was that it painted the picture of very normal people who had started off doing one thing, maybe looking at some pictures on the internet and that had led to one thing and then another. The man who was interviewed said he felt dead inside and was continually looking for a bigger thrill—and it just got worse and worse.
Sometimes we see something and it looks fun, or we see people and it looks like they’re having a great time, but the truth is there’s nothing satisfying beneath those activities. Those artificial things deceive us into thinking we can find happiness on our own, without God getting in the way to tell us how to live. The truth is, without God, there is no real or lasting happiness. As the Apostle Paul explains, life without Jesus has nothing to offer. Sometimes it seems superficially attractive, but there’s no substance to it.
How and Where Can You Find Truth and Real Happiness?
In Ephesians 4: 17-24 the Apostle Paul tells the Christians living in Ephesus (an ancient Greek city on the continent of Asia) that to experience life the way God intends for them to, they must always remember to look to Jesus and follow His example.
If you want to see a life connected to God, a life connected to true happiness, look at Jesus. Read about Jesus in the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) in the Bible. Get to know Him the way you’d want to get to know a new friend—what does He like, dislike, how did He respond to people, where did He turn in times of stress or trouble?
When you become a Christian, the goal isn't to adopt a new set of rules or a new religion, or a new set of rituals. It is about learning who Jesus is and developing a relationship with Him. In turn, He will give you a new attitude, a new and healthier way to look at and deal with life.
When you’re stuck searching for truth and happiness, the only person who can give them to you is Jesus Christ. He offers the alternative to the darkness and deceitfulness of this world. In fact, He is the only way to experience real happiness and know real truth.
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