Philippians 3:8 (NAS): More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ.
James 1:2-4: Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
“God just wants me to be happy” is a lie from the deepest cracks of hell. Nowhere do we read any such nonsense in the Bible. Nowhere does God say anything about happiness. This does not mean that we, God’s holy people, are to live a miserable life – on the contrary! Happiness is based on what happens – it is temporal. Joy, on the other hand, is steadfast regardless of what happens.
The “God just wants me to be happy” folks don’t understand God or His Word at all. We who are hidden in Christ are to “deny ourselves” and “take up our cross.” No part of either of those instructions point toward being happy. So, so many use the “happy theory” to excuse sin of every kind.
For those who choose to take up their cross and follow Christ, they are a people who endure through every hardship and, despite the hardship, are joyous. No matter what the cost, no matter what relationship they must forfeit, no matter what belongings they must lose, no matter how their reputation is tarnished, no matter what the cost, Christ is their very life breath – the Kingdom of God is their only focus.
God does not call His holy priesthood to happiness but to holiness. The only way to be holy is to accept that the nature of the flesh was buried with Christ at His death, and the only life we now have is Christ alone. This eliminates all the desires of the flesh which are always at war with the Spirit who reigns within.
We must count the cost. We must not be as the rich man who, when Christ explained the price to walk with Him, walked away because the cost was too high. Your “riches” can be anything in any form that stand between you and holiness and the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is eternal and priceless. You must count ALL THINGS as loss so that you may gain the greatest gift of all: the everlasting, eternal Kingdom of God.
Matthew 13:45-46: Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.
Stay tuned for next week’s Flesh vs. Spirit! If you’re interested in reading more, please go to my website and check out my books or my ministry Facebook page.
Peace and blessings,
Alexys V. Wolf