"Whatever you decide to do, make sure it always makes you happy." -- Paulo Coelho

"Happiness is having what you want and wanting what you have." -- Josh Bullings

"If it makes you happy, then do it. If it doesn't, then don't." -- Unknown

I don't claim to be an expert on life or happiness or anything of that nature, but these attractive-sounding directions seem like a sure-fire way to make yourself wretchedly unhappy.

These ideas make up our current world's general attitude. It is so deeply ingrained in our culture. "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" is written in the Declaration of Independence. I'm convinced the phrase, "Think happy be happy," is featured on every Tumblr page, ever. Who doesn't want to be happy? It is a goal to be attained, and if you are ever unhappy something is horribly wrong with your life.

I hate to tell you, but despite your tireless quest: you are not happy.

I agree that finding happiness and contentment in your life is healthy. Placing value solely on things that "make you happy;" however, is not. Lots of things make me happy. But I would like to think that my life is more than a lengthy effort to make myself feel better.

We humans are obviously geared to passionately search for something. Unlike most of our world, I do not believe that something is happiness. I believe we are empty vessels. We can spend much time, even our entire lives, pouring and pouring into ourselves -- money, relationships, popularity, education, success, even things that are wonderful and good -- and yet we are still empty and dry. Dig deep into the heart of the matter and it is clear that nothing on this earth satisfies.

I would like to encourage you to consider your efforts to attain your something -- that thing you are desperately searching for. It may not be happiness. It could be pleasure, acceptance, purpose; this is different for everyone. But how much time have you devoted to finding complete bliss and total success in your something? Do you have it yet? I've been where you are, and my answer was definitely not.

The only thing I have found that makes life worth living is not happiness. It is my relationship with Jesus Christ. I struggle to put into words the colossal meaning of this, but please allow me to try. This relationship is quite literally who I am. It spills over my entire existence, into every part of me and my life. It is challenging and difficult. I will be honest; I am often consumed with guilt and feelings of inferiority. These are not shiny or glamorous feelings -- which oppose the aim of the world, where perfection and flawlessness are the goals. But what the world has to offer is a sham. Nothing is true or genuine or lasting. That is why I need a savior, someone who loves me enough to pull me out of the world of lies we live in. Someone who will not leave me, though I deserve to be left. Someone who knows my very soul and commits to me anyways. Someone who never fails to fill me up- the only something that will ever satisfy. Do not be confused -- happiness is indeed a side effect of this relationship. The most incandescent happiness you'll ever be offered in this life is yours, along with your salvation, if you ask for it. Search and discover this radical and fulfilling something called the love of God. He is calling to you now, as you read this. If you have already been exposed to this true happiness through Christ, pass it on to someone you know. He is counting on you to share the eternal treasure you've been given. Empty people are all around you. Fill them up.

“I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” -- John 16:33, NIV