As Americans, I think it’s fair to say that we’re bombarded every day with “wants”. The neighbor just got a shiny new SUV. My friend just moved into an incredible new house. I really would like to have that new outfit, etc. You get the idea. You’re ok one minute with what you have and the next moment it all falls apart when you browse through social media and your buddies are flying off to an exotic island for vacation!  I want to go!!

The world shows us many “shiny things” that pull us in like a magnet. We think nothing of signing the dotted line for something we truly have no business buying. “I deserve to be happy” you tell yourself, only to wake up four or five months down the road making payments on something that clearly hasn’t done half of what the expectations were. You’ve still got all the same issues you had. You’re not crazy about your job, the family is driving you nuts, bills are piling up, and you’re supposed to be happy! Certainly, this isn’t right. The Bible tells us in the book of Nehemiah that “the joy of the Lord is our strength.” Joy, not happiness. They are not the same. Happiness is a feeling. It’s based on our circumstances. It can come and go in a moment’s notice. True joy is a state of being. It’s knowing that “if God is for me, who can be against me?” (Romans 8:31 NLT). There is a sustainable strength in this joy. You can tap into it even when the circumstances aren’t good. It’s a peaceful state of mind just knowing who is fighting your battles. It’s not saying there won’t be battles. There will be as long as you live on this earth. This joy, placed in you by the Lord, says to the battles – “You don’t scare me. Greater is He that is in me than he who’s in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

Now we’re talking!! What a gift joy is and it costs you absolutely nothing! God made humanity so He obviously knows what human beings need. Philippians 4:19 tells us that God supplies all of our needs from His glorious riches! How about safety and security? You certainly can’t purchase those in this world. I absolutely love the idea that He holds me in the very palm of His Hand. The Bible tells us in the book of John that no one can snatch us from the Father’s hand. He holds us safe and secure, directing our very steps. Think about it – if you have made Jesus Christ your Lord, you are held up by the very One who created the universe!

1 Peter 5:7 tells us to give all our worries and cares to God because He cares for you. That’s a relief!! I’m not designed to carry this heavy load and I sure don’t know what to do with it! Jesus wants to take what is weighing us down and truly lighten our loads. We just go to Him, thank Him for all He’s done, and present our “issues” to Him. It’s that simple. The struggles we’ve been dealing with for what seems like forever, suddenly start to work out all because you went to the One with the ability to make it better. The Bible calls this lightness “the peace that surpasses all understanding.”  It’s true. We don’t understand how we can have so many irons in the fire and be at total peace. Once again, an amazing gift. 

So we’re starting to get a clear picture that we cannot buy what only God can give. He gives us peace in the storms. He opens doors no one can shut. He promises to be our ever present help in time of trouble and most importantly, He loves us with an everlasting love. This love is not based on our performance. It’s based solely on His character. Love is who He is. 

I really could go on and on about all the gifts God bestows on His children, but I really only aim to make one point. The One who created you knows your needs. He designed you to get your needs met from Him. There’s a big difference between “wants” and “needs”. This world only offers temporary glimpses of happiness through things we think we want. Isn’t it fair to say that what God knows we need is truly what we really want?

 

Today’s writer is Brandi Crowe. A hairdresser for over 25 years, she is currently the owner of Brandi Crowe salon in Buford, GA. She loves hiking, a good cup of coffee and spending time with family and friends. Brandi lives in a custom farmhouse with her husband, Robby and cat, Harold.

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