Sometimes it occurs to me that the real issue in most, perhaps all, of my disappointments is a misinterpretation of what life is about. More specifically, about what my life is about.
God’s plan for me is not about my gratification, my achievement or my happiness; it is about bringing people to salvation. It is about advancing the gospel and building up the body of Christ, preparing and equipping us for good works. It is also about preparing us for eternity, bringing us to the fullness of the image of Christ.
Contrary to one of the illusions neatly tucked away into our Declaration of Independence, happiness is not something obtained through pursuit. It is a by-product, not a goal. The more deliberately we focus on our own happiness, the more elusive it will be. It is gained through surrender, not through overwhelming force. It is a choice, not an accomplishment.
When I learn like the ancient tentmaker that God is at work in all things, when I believe that the One who has begun a good work in me will finish that work, when I know that my Creator is operating within me for both intent and action, then I am able to rejoice in all circumstances.
When I believe that no matter what is going on in my life, that God is both forming me and using me for his divine plan and purpose, then I am liberated from the petty notion that my life is about something as fickle as what makes me happy.