In All Things

Day 1 of 5 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Our Greatest Longing


Money, fame, relationships, and success—these things we chase after— are really just means to an end. Our greatest longing is for joy. Peace. Contentment.


We’re hoping money can buy us peace or relationships will bring us joy. But life doesn’t work as we think it should. Stuff piles up all around us and fails to satisfy. The closest relationships can bring the greatest turmoil. So often these longed-for good desires—joy, peace, contentment—seem just beyond our reach. 


You and I both need something much greater than we can muster up on our own. We need something outside ourselves, something stronger, something secure. This thing we’re searching for, this thing we’re hoping to find? Well, it’s not really a thing. It’s a person. 


Spoiler alert: it’s Jesus. 


I know that may sound simplistic. It’s too easy, right? However, there’s so much more to Jesus than we realize. He’s the creator, sustainer, and source of every good thing, and in His presence is “fullness of joy” (Psalm 16:11). The more we know Jesus, the more we know joy, peace, and contentment. Studying Philippians helps us understand how knowing Him more makes such a difference. 


Philippians is an invitation to joy, written by an imprisoned apostle Paul to believers in the early church who were suffering from opposition. His continual refrain throughout the letter is “Rejoice!” 


His joy was unshakeable. His peace was secure. His hope was abounding. Where did he find such depths of riches in the midst of such dire circumstances? From what source did he drink that filled him so fully? How did he learn the secret of contentment? 


Can I learn it too? 


All these questions linger in my mind as I read Philippians time and again. The more I study, the more I recognize how different Paul’s joy was from the happiness I usually seek. Too often I set my heart on fool’s gold and false treasure rather than on the riches found in Christ. Worldly items—the perfect home, a dream job, an amazing vacation, or financial security—may provide momentary happiness but repeatedly fail to satisfy. It’s not wrong to enjoy any of these items; they’re simply insufficient for lasting contentment. All too quickly, they lose their luster. My hope and prayer is that we will become women of abiding joy. 


What brings you the most joy in your life right now?