WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY?

“[25] For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. [26] For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?”
Matthew 16:25-26, ESV

The following is an excerpt from A.W. Tozer’s The Attributes of God, v. 1:

“Why aren’t Christians the happiest, most easeful people in all the wide world?”…”Because we seek to have our rest in things that are so little.”…

…”What is it that makes you happy?  What cheers you up and gives your morale a lift?  Is it your job?  Is it the fact that you have good clothes?  Is it that you’ve married well or have a fine position?  Just what is it that brings you joy?…

…we’re not a happy people because we’ve got our minds set on things.  We multiply things, and we increase things and we perfect things.  We beautify things and put our confidence in things and God.  We have our job and God; we have our husband and God; we have our strong body and God; we have our good job and God; we have our home and God.  We have our ambition for the future and God, and so we put God as a plus sign after something else.

All the great souls of the world from David and Paul and Augustine and all the rest down through this present hour — every responsible writer who has ever been illuminated from the Scriptures by the Holy Spirit has said the same thing.  And whether he came from one school of Christian thought or another, as long as he was orthodox and spiritual he said the same thing: Our problem is that we are putting our confidence in things and not in God…

We multiply, we increase, and still we’re anxious and unsatisfied.  Why?  Because all that is beneath God will not satisfy us…

…You’re made in the image of God, and nothing short of God will satisfy you.  And even if you happen to be one of those “nickel-in-the-slot, get saved, escape hell and take heaven” Christians (that poor little kindergarten view of heaven), remember one thing — even you will find over the years that you are not content with “things plus God.”  You’ll have to have God minus all things.

You ask me, “Don’t you have things?”  Sure I do.  God knows that I don’t have much, only a lot of books.  I have a wife and some children and grandchildren and friends — I have all that.

But as soon as I set my hopes and comforts upon things and people I’ll lose something out of my heart.  It dare not be things and God, it dare not be people and God: it must be God plus nothing else.  Then whatever God gives us, we can hold at arm’s length and hold it dear for Jesus’ sake.  And we can love it for His sake, but it is not necessary to our happiness.If there’s anything necessary to your eternal happiness but God, you’re not the kind of Christian that you ought to be.  For only God is the true rest.” (emphasis mine)

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