It’s that time of year again. The days get shorter, the air gets colder, and I get the urge to escape from the bleakness of winter.
Hunched over my computer screen, I find myself researching warm places to fly to during the frigid January cold. I spend hours obsessing over new clothes to buy that will distract me from the impending frost. I jam-pack my weekends with activities to avoid feeling the constant, nagging dread of unfulfillment.
Do you ever feel this way? In this season of life, are you overwhelmed and running towards the closest escape hatch? Do you find yourself empty of joy, anxiously searching out your next source of pleasure?
The Bible tells us we don’t have to find our joy by accumulating things or experiences. We all know these fleeting pleasures don’t last.
Try not to feel guilty about your desire to escape. Notice that desire as something else: an opportunity to seek joy, pleasure, and fulfillment in the Bible. When you sense the urge to get away—whether through the press of a remote or the wings of a plane—journey instead into God’s Word.
Let’s get started by praying through these 5 verses together:
Lord, remind me that the world alone cannot satisfy me.
I decided to enjoy myself and find out what happiness is. But I found that this is useless, too. I discovered that laughter is foolish, that pleasure does you no good. …Then I thought about all that I had done and how hard I had worked doing it, and I realized that it didn't mean a thing. It was like chasing the wind—of no use at all. —Ecclesiastes 2:1-2, 11 (GNTD)
Help me find pleasure by sitting in your presence right now.
You will show me the path that leads to life;
your presence fills me with joy
and brings me pleasure forever. — Psalm 16:11 (GNTD)
Show me how not to find my hope in my possessions.
Command those who are rich in the things of this life not to be proud, but to place their hope, not in such an uncertain thing as riches, but in God, who generously gives us everything for our enjoyment. — 1 Timothy 6:17 (GNTD)
Instead, give me joy for the victory of your love over death, sin, and despair.
This is the day of the Lord's victory;
let us be happy, let us celebrate! — Psalm 118:24 (GNTD)
God, thank you for giving me pleasure only found in you. Amen.
I will shout for joy as I play for you; with my whole being I will sing because you have saved me. — Psalm 71:23 (GNTD)
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