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This devotion is part of the Jesse Tree Advent devotion series. 

Scripture reading: 1 Kings 18:17-2436-39

Can you imagine such a showdown between God and some other god today?

Say the other god is happiness—well meaning, certainly, but not a path to salvation. Who would win in a competition between the Triune God and happiness? In theory, God. But in practice, we’re used to seeing the gods of the world win out. Popular Instagram accounts seem to depict lives filled with so much joy. Books written by financial gurus make them seem so much more secure than we are. Even the gods of minimalism make their disciples appear to be far more content than those of us who worship Christ.

It leaves us wondering: Is God really powerful? Can God make me more joyful than happiness can? Does God hold my future more than good retirement savings can? Is it possible to be satisfied in Jesus even if I haven’t thoughtfully chosen every object in my home?

The answer is a hearty yes! It may not always seem like it, but the God we worship is the same God Elijah worshiped, the God who sent the water-logged altar up in flames. Let’s ask God with trust and conviction to show himself to us and deepen our trust in him.


Almighty God, I know in my head that you alone are God, but I don’t always believe it in my heart. The gods of health and happiness are so seductive. Forgive me for putting my trust in them. Give me confidence in you and your power. Amen.

Grace Ruiter is digital content coordinator for the Reformed Church in America. If you'd like to connect with Grace, her email address is