Monday, 9 June 2014

Disappointed?

“The earth is filled with the love of the Lord” Psalm 33:5  NIV

In their book Love & War, John and Stasi Eldredge identify the core of much of our unhappiness.

The human heart has an infinite capacity for happiness and an unending need for love, because it is created for an infinite God who is unending love…Every woman now has an insatiable need for relationship, one that can never be filled.  It is an ache in her soul designed to drive her to God…A man aches for affirmation, for validation, to know that he has come through.  This also explains his deepest fear – failure.”

We tell ourselves that we deserve happiness and we look to blame someone or something when we are unhappy.  We live in a world in which most things are upgradable.  The Eldredges remind us that

“Your spouse’s unhappiness doesn’t mean you’re an “F” as a person, as a spouse.  Your spouse’s unhappiness – and yours’ means you both have a famished craving within you that only God can meet.”

So the core of our unhappiness is that God created us with a need for love, a love so vast that only He can completely fill it.  Our attempts to have this void totally filled by another person, an addiction, power, money or prestige will always fall short.

We cannot experience such a love by merely believing in God.  Many good people, and some not so good people, have an intellectual understanding of who God is.  Our knowledge is not sufficient to experience of God’s unconditional love.  We still look to our spouse or something else to make us happy.

What we need is a personal relationship with Him.  We can cultivate a personal relationship with God the way we developed our relationship with our spouse, children or close friends, i.e. we spend concentrated time with Him.   Spend time in prayer.  Spend time in His Word.  Spend time sitting silently and listen for what He may want to say to you.  Get involved with people who love the Lord, who reflect His grace.

Gary Thomas is famous for saying that God is more concerned about our holiness than our happiness.  That does not mean that God doesn’t want us to be happy, but rather God would prefer that we be filled with joy, where God is the source and object of our joy.

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