Why Can't I Be Happy?

The world is filled with so many unhappy people. Why? Has society let them down? Is happiness an impossible goal? Has God failed them?

There's no question that society has failed to meet our needs--it hasn't even given us believable answers to why we are here and how to fulfil the true purpose of our existence. After all, they try to tell us in school that there is no God and that we evolved from some "primordial soup." I knew better and so do you.

When I was young, I longed to be truly loved and accepted. So I searched for this from religion, family, friends, and classmates. I was soon disappointed, so next I compromised my values and conscience by joining in with all the juicers, drug users, and the immoral for acceptance. I found out that I had friends as long as I was providing the booze and laughs, though all the while I was slowly destroying my mind and body.

Lots of people wanted me to walk the "straight and narrow" but many of them were so hypocritical that I didn't trust them. Running after riches, success, immoral sex, fame, and rock and roll kept me busy, but left me unsatisfied. They just acted like a temporary anesthesia for the deep pain that lingered in my empty, longing soul. Pleasure did not bring contentment.

Yes, I tried almost everything a young person could try, and came up empty and lonely. I turned to a hypnotist for mind control to escape reality by pretending that everything was ok. It did not work; my conscience was still saying that something was not right. Then I wanted drugs and alcohol to medicate myself to forget the pain of being lonely, and the shame and guilt of my sins. I was really bad in relationships and longed for true intimacy, but found that being real was too painful for me. False intimacies were so much easier and less painful, but also never satisfied.

Dear reader, does any of this ring a bell? If so, let me tell you clearly that there is an answer to "Why can't I be happy?" Years ago I asked a Christian man this question and the answer he gave me--the answer I'm going to give you--came as a surprise. He took me to mankind's "owner's manual"--the Bible, where it says that God "satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness" (Psalm 107:9).

God, our Creator, has designed us and knows our needs and problems. He has given each of us the freedom to either love and obey Him or to turn away from Him. Sadly, we all have chosen to sin, to rebel against His commands, and the result is physical and spiritual death (Genesis 2:17). Spiritual death ultimately brings separation from God forever, away from the only source of everlasting love. In order to have joy and peace, we must be reconciled to God!

God has done His part: "God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). Jesus Christ suffered the death penalty for you when He died on the cross in your place and mine. He rose from the dead the third day, and is now alive forever (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

He asks you to come to Him. "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). God did not let you down. He has cleared the way for you to come to Him. He offers you love, acceptance, forgiveness, peace, and eternal, joyous life with Him.

I tried all the other ways; maybe you have, too. But now it is time for you to fulfil your purpose and begin a loving, eternal relationship with God by seeing your need of Jesus and trusting Him to forgive all of your sins. When you do this, you will be spiritually "born again," and begin to experience "life more abundantly" (John 3; 10:10; 15:11). For the first time, you will also be equipped for true happiness and satisfaction, which come from knowing and following God--from aligning your will with His (Psalm 16:11; 144:15).

"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Romans 10:13). The word call means to appeal to Him. You do the calling and He will do the saving. Eternal life is free, a gift from God through Jesus Christ (Romans 6:23).

Gary Pace

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