Are you ever disappointed with God? Do you feel he should have blessed you some way with money, but you didn’t get what you wanted? Can you still remain joyful in disappointment and after failure?
It’s absolutely a test that all Christians will endure. There is one thing I can guarantee you, and that is you will not always get what you want in life. This is especially true for many of the things you want the most. I do believe that God generously provides, sometimes in miraculous ways, and I will always ask for blessings that I think are right. But at the end of the day, can you be happy with what ever happens?
Why do I ask this question? Many Christians are depressed, because of their money expectations. In their minds, they expected certain outcomes for following Jesus. To narrow it down to a financial context, American Jesus followers expect a minimum type of housing, menu of food on their table, car they drive, spouse that cares for their every need with his or her great income and their fulfilling job. If they don’t get it, many become depressed; unhappy because they have difficulty experiencing joy and hope because they think it has to do with money, but it never does.
They look around at the better lives their friends enjoy. Big house in the suburbs, great vacation in the islands. They become discontent with the things God has given them. They wonder why Jesus let them down, or where they failed. Jesus the happy pill never materialized. They take their disappointment out on the highway or their spouse; you know it, either you’ve been that idiot driver, the pointing finger spouse or on their receiving end.
Can you buy happiness, joy and peace? Of course not; you can buy fun, but never those other things. How then do you get it, you might ask? The answer is Jesus.
Walking with Jesus is the only way. Happiness, joy and peace (HJP) is known when we live and walk with him. Not only can’t you buy HJP, nothing can take it from you. Even your failures can’t stick on you long to prevent this. Neither can injustices, failures and disappointment steal it. Do you wonder if there is a decisive Bible verse that promises this? Yup there are several; the most famous ones are Romans 8:31-39.
What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Your joy, your peace, your happiness can never be earned, and it can’t be achieved through some great financial payoff. This is a hard one to get, especially for me, a goal driven person, who likes things perfect. Goals and perfection can’t deliver this either, not even a fantastic retirement with every comfort and excitement possible. Nothing can buy or steal these things of love, because according to these verses nothing can separate us from the love of God in Jesus.
This is good news; no matter how hard you work to earn a living, and you don’t achieve many of your financial goals, you can still be enormously full of HJP. Likewise, you don’t have to continue to hold out hope, working for these blessings, they are already freely available to you. It is even better than that, not even your failures, sin or shortcomings can prevent it. That is good news!
With this knowledge, you can change how approach your money, job, your role as a steward, and even generosity. This is liberating. You can stop trying to earn HJP, but begin to learn to receive it, it is ready for you to plunge in, fall back into the loving arms of Jesus, it’s better than the Nestea plunge. People I know who live like this, tend to be more successful at work, because they are not as tense and anxious at others. They often are better savers and spenders, and more generous too, because they are not trying to buy happiness for themselves today or borrow to get it.