In the age of social media, we are constantly bombarded with images of success: cars, houses, and lavish vacations. If one is not careful, those images can easily become idols; and while God wants us to enjoy the good life, that good life is defined in Romans 14:17 as having joy and peace in the Holy Ghost. As we transform our mind through the word of God, we will find that material things lose their excitement and defining moments are fleeting. However, the joy of God’s presence is steadfast despite life’s circumstances. In fact, the goodness of his presence can at times be the only stabilizing force when life seems shaky. And boy…life can get really shaky!

As Paul wrote to encourage the Philippian church, he stated, “I’ve learned to be content, in whatever circumstance I find myself in” (Philippian 4:11). I’ve learned that only the power of God’s presence can provide you with the internal peace that’s needed to go through all that life will throw at you. My prayer is that as we grow in grace, God will show us that success as the world defines it is flattering, yet hollow; that it may bring fun, but it could never give us the joy and peace that defies human understanding. So, before you start on the rat-race to worldly “success”, ask God to grant you the grace to know true joy and peace in him!

Excelling in Christ, Leon Hampton, Jr.