The End of Happiness
Lately I’ve been active on a social website named Quora.
Quora’s mission is to share and grow the world’s knowledge. Quora is a place where you can ask questions you care about and get answers that, according to the site’s creators, are “amazing.”
I was a member on Quora literally for YEARS before I participated at all. Now, as of the time of this blog-post, I have answered 614 questions and my answers have been read no less than 5,300 times.
When I finally decided to build out my profile and interests on Quora and start answering questions I was shocked: it felt like most of the questions were about one of two inquiries…either how to commit suicide in the most painless way or how to deal with (or escape) debilitating, soul-crushing depression.
I confess that my first instinct was to cut and run; I had no idea so many people had reached the point where life itself was considered a curse. I had no desire to have my own mind dragged into what seemed a tremendously powerful black hole of self-loathing, existential despair and emotional darkness of a shade of black that could be felt.
Then it seemed to me as if Christ was saying “speak the Truth…be simple and straightforward.” So I started answering questions that either no one had yet answered, or that had only one or two answers. I determined to keep each answer to the minimum amount of words necessary to get my point across; if the inquirer wanted more info, they would have to ask another question or rephrase the original question.
One fellow member pointed out (in so many words) that it’s easy to spew glib answers at someone going through profound suffering…and of course that is true (just ask Job). Many of my answers do appear “textbook” but my intent was not to be glib, but straight to the point. There were times when I was inspired to clarify my answers with explanations; and occasionally I would point to articles on this blog that I either considered relevant or, like this blog-post, were written to deliberately address the issues lying behind the questions I responded to.
The objective of this blog-post is to address what I believe to be the underlying Root Cause of so many of these uncertainty / anxiety / depression / loneliness / suicide questions. This underlying Root Cause is the Delusion that the reason we exist is to be “happy” or “fulfilled.”
Yes…I said “Delusion” by which I am referring to “a persistent, false and psychotic belief…that is maintained despite indisputable evidence to the contrary” (Reference). Even in Christendom it is believed by far too many professing followers of Christ that their progress in the Faith can be easily assessed by how many of their prayers and “desires of the heart” have been answered by GOD in a positive way or how “happy” GOD has made them. This Delusion is all the more potent because, to a certain degree, there is a kernel of truth to it. The Bible is FULL of word pictures painting GOD as a Loving Parent Who desires to bless and prosper His Children.
Yet it is absolutely critical, dear Reader, that you understand that your happiness and fulfillment, though probably on GOD’s Agenda (and it is a theological fact that there are beings for whom GOD intends no happiness at all), does in no way or means sit at the Top of His List of things that must be accomplished in your spirit, soul and body–whether you’re a believer or not.
My first relentless blow at this Delusion is to declare that which DOES stand at the Top of GOD’s List: His Glory.
“So the Lord said, ‘I have pardoned them according to your word; but indeed, as I live, all the Earth will be filled with the Glory of the Lord.'” – Numbers 14:20, 21 “For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Him AND FOR HIM.” – The Apostle Paul, Colossians 1:16 “Then comes the end, when He [Christ] delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For He [Christ] must reign until He [God the Father] has put all His enemies under His [Christ’s] feet. “The last enemy to be destroyed is Death. “For ‘God has put all things in subjection under his feet.’ “But when it says, ‘all things are put in subjection,’ it is plain that He [God the Father] is excepted Who put all things in subjection under Him [Christ]. “When all things are subjected to Him [Christ], then the Son Himself will also be subjected to Him [God the Father] Who put all things in subjection under Him [Christ], THAT GOD MAY BE ALL IN ALL.” – The Apostle Paul, 1st Corinthians 15:24-28
The passage from 1 Corinthians spectacularly defines in a few words the ultimate fate of all Existence: God’s Glory and Will saturating the entire cosmos!!!
This flies in the face of every instinct and impulse in the heart of the human sinner, who shouts defiantly to the skies “I am the center of all that is!” It also demolishes the commonly-held belief in Christendom that GOD doesn’t directly change or affect human free will.
You see, my Friend: if the GOD described by the Bible actually exists (and He does), then you are nothing–LESS THAN NOTHING and you mean only what GOD decides your purpose to be…
…AT THE SAME TIME…
You are inestimably precious and priceless BECAUSE YOU WERE CREATED IN GOD’S OWN IMAGE AND LIKENESS!!! GOD loves Himself without restriction or reservation…there’s no reason not to! And from the beginning GOD bound us to Himself by giving us His Image and Likeness (when GOD sees us He sees Himself). He could have made us to appear as anything from a spider to an octopus; but He chose to make us like Himself IN ORDER TO ENJOY FELLOWSHIP WITH US!!!!!!!
This enigmatic paradox–our coexistent worthlessness AND worthiness–is critically true because YOUR VALUE IS COMPLETELY TIED UP AND BOUND IN THE EXISTENCE OF YOUR CREATOR…and not in your existence in and of itself at all.
While this may be for some too deterministic and restrictive, in truth it affords the True Believer immense freedom, rest, joy and peace while at the same time giving one’s purpose for existence a relieving and effectual simplicity!
Huge obstacles like physical and mental disability, poverty, abandonment, racism, prejudice, persecution, failure, insanity, depression, pain, suffering and even death loose their weight in the Light of GOD’s Eternal Glory, Nature, Purpose, Power and UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.
I EXIST BECAUSE OF GOD AND I EXIST FOR HIS GLORY AND ETERNAL PURPOSE!!!!
My own happiness, success, fortune and failure–even my own opinion of myself, ARE HILARIOUSLY IRRELEVANT!!!!!!
As long as GOD is pleased with me, IT DOESN’T MATTER ONE WIT IF OTHERS ARE NOT PLEASED WITH ME OR EVEN IF I’M NOT PLEASED WITH MYSELF.
Now here is where the rubber meets the road: IS GOD PLEASED WITH ME??????
That depends on ONE THING and ONE THING ONLY:
My attitude towards and dependency on and confidence in and trust upon GOD’S ONLY-BEGOTTEN SON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.
Why is this?
Jesus Christ ALWAYS HAS BEEN and ALWAYS WILL BE absolutely, completely and eternally pleasing to GOD.
Jesus Christ is GOD.
Jesus Christ is human.
Jesus Christ shared my pain, my suffering, my judgement and my death BECAUSE HE IS UNCONDITIONALLY IN LOVE WITH ME!!!!!!!!!!!
Jesus Christ is BOTH God’s ideal picture of me AND my ideal picture of GOD!!!!!!!!!!
This is why, on the night Christ was born in Bethlehem Ephratha, Israel, that the Holy Angels could sing both
“Glory to GOD in the Highest”
“And on Earth PEACE…GOOD WILL TOWARDS MEN.”
(LISTEN to this blog-post on any of TEN podcast platforms!)