God is the highest good of the reasonable creature, and the enjoyment of him is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied. To go to heaven fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here. Fathers and mothers, husbands, wives, children, or the company of earthly friends, are but shadows. But the enjoyment of God is the substance. These are but scattered beams, but God is the sun. These are but streams, but God is the fountain. These are but drops, but God is the ocean.
Do we seek happiness because we’re sinners or because we’re human? Should faith in God be dragged forward by duty or propelled by delight? Must we choose between holiness and happiness?
Sin is the biggest enemy of happiness because it results in a broken relationship with God. Forgiveness is its greatest friend, because it reunites us with the happy God.
Giving up everything must mean giving over everything to kingdom purposes, surrendering everything to further the one central cause, loosening our grip on everything. For some of us, this may mean ridding ourselves of most of our possessions. But for all of us it should mean dedicating everything we retain to further the kingdom. (For true disciples, however, it cannot mean hoarding or using kingdom assets self-indulgently.)
…if I try to make only enough money for my family’ immediate needs, it may violate Scripture. …Even though earning just enough to meet the needs of my family may seem nonmaterialistic, it’s actually selfish when I could earn enough to care for others as well.
What if one day we discover that God has wasted nothing in our life on Earth? What if we see that every agony was part of giving birth to an eternal joy?
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
God cannot give us happiness apart from Himself, because there is no such thing.
If we were to gain God’s perspective, even for a moment, and were to look at the way we go through life accumulating and hoarding and displaying our things, we would have the same feelings of horror and pity that any sane person has when he views people in an asylum endlessly beating their heads against the wall.