I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity. (Ecclesiastes 2:1 KJV).
Everyone wants to be happy. Even if we can’t get it on a continuous basis, we seek to create the opportunities for ourselves to experience some happiness if just for a short time once so often. We will even go as far as paying a high price for it. Subjecting our health, our reputation and our resources just for 30 minutes of pleasure.
The daily routine of life can be so wearisome that for some the only way to keep going is to have a regular injection of some happiness into that routine.
Happiness has therefore been packaged and advertised and sold to us on a daily basis in the form of food, sex, money, laughter. We pay for these so that in the time we are enjoying them we can forget our problems, responsibilities and disappointments. We even attempt to use them to forget the disillusionment of life itself. We over use / misuse these gifts of life and we become slaves to them and totally hooked and dependent on them.
We become addicted to them and will sell our very souls, our reputations and even our dignity just for another taste.
So you hate your job. That’s not surprising, so do most people you know. However, since it earns a decent income and you need the Money, you endure it and look forward to the one week holiday away that the money can help you afford. That will inject some happiness into the whole situation as it will be filled with food, sex, laughter, drinks etc.
So you are driven to achieve, you have no balance in your life. There are no breaks for you and you have developed a reputation that does not allow you to let down your guard and relax. The only relief from it is when you indulge in illicit behaviour which you know if discovered will ruin your reputation. You get your kicks from courting with danger. That describes the situation of the high flying politician, preacher, Jet setter etc. We get surprised to hear that they have been caught with a prostitute, or are hiding an immoral behaviour. This is all related to the quest for happiness which puts their lives so out of balance.
You hear of the beauty queen or royalty or famous person who is addicted to food, drugs, drink etc. They suffer with Bulimia, anorexia and other illnesses due to an addiction with a behaviour pattern aimed at getting some happiness.
For the average person, there is an addiction to information, to seeking knowledge about what we think will make us happy or give us that success or edge that we can see in the people we idolise whether on TV or through other forms of media. Hence the current celebrity culture. We raise the profile of people so much so that they themselves have to continue to pretend to be what they are not just to keep us satisfied.
I recently heard of people who attend all sorts of conferences organised by millionaires, giving them suggestions of how they can become millionaires. They use up all their megre salaries to travel and to pay for these conferences. There was one such conference that gave them some exercises to do daily including pulling their ears, jumping on one feet and shouting ‘ I am millionaire’. They looked very silly indeed but the hunger for knowledge and for money so they can buy some happiness made them not question what they were being told. It was very sad also to realise that most of them were in debt due to the amount of money they spent on these ‘get rich quick’ conferences. All this in the pursuit of happiness.
People pay good money to be entertained by comedy. Just to laugh and while they are there, for a few minutes they can forget about their problems.
But as you well know, doing drugs, drinking, over eating or not eating, sex, comedy etc all do not hold the key to lasting happiness. They actually costs us a lot if we do not have balance in our lives.
Where does true happiness come from? The lasting one? The one that does not need regular top ups and hasn’t got the tendency to take over our lives, our health and sanity? Where can we find such happiness?
I will be interested to know what your response is.
In my opinion, It is only found in the place of inner peace, equilibrium where that hole in us is filled. It is the same emptiness in all of us and it has the same solution.
Believe me this is not a cliche – only God can satisfy that deep need. And the way to know that you are satisfied is when you are no longer striving to maintain what you have by relying on outside influences.
This is what the Holy Bible says;
‘For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water’. (Jeremiah 2:13 KJV).
‘Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw’.(John 4:13-15 KJV).
He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God. (John 8:47 KJV).
There is only one way to say the truth. You say it just as it is. Once it is tampered with, it becomes colourful and diluted and is no longer the whole truth. It is the same way to hear truth. It is important that you take it all in. See the whole picture and accept the whole picture. Don’t change it to suit you and dont dismiss it as irrelevant to you.
God knows how to hit the bull’s eye. God doesn’t miss his targets when he shoots. He has no need to mince his words or to be politically correct or to pacify those who might get offended.
The truth is the truth and should not be compromised, not in words or action.
This was apparent in Jesus’s life while he was here on earth. Those who were able to take in what he said reaped the benefits of it. They believed him and believed in God and were able to access their miracles, healings, deliverances and with these they also received wholeness (soundness in body, sout and spirit).
Too much questioning of God’s word disables your hearing faculties. When you listen with the intention of disproving what you are hearing, you end up hearing what confirms your suspicions and your unbelief. Two similar people can be told the same thing or see the same thing; one accepts it with genuine belief while another disbeliefs and so does not reap the benefits associated with it.
What makes us disbelief the word of God?
It is usually a reluctance to change the status quo or the presiding order of things, because we are unsure of the benefits to us of making such huge changes. We do not want to commit to making the effort, of being inconvenienced, of making a mental and physical shift from our comfort zones. If what we hear does not conform to what we want to hear, we disapprove of it immediately and castigate it as untrue or worthless sometimes without looking further into the matter.
The word of God will be to you what you allow it to be. You can accept it as truth ( which it is ) and it will yield benefits for you. You can disapprove of it and it will be of no benefit to you. Infact it will be a stumbling block in your way, because deep in your heart you know it is valid and so you will constantly have to make the effort to disregard it. The human ear is made to hear and recognise truth when it comes across it. If you are honest and uncompromised by the views of the world around you, then if what you hear is the truth it will make sense to you but only if you wait long enough, search long enough, listen intently enough to what is being said.
If you disregard the word of God, you disregard his very salvation and deliverance for you which he has offered to all men and women through the person of Jesus Christ. God wants you saved. You may ask, saved from what?
Saved from yourself. We are actually our own worst enemies. In seeking gratification, security, happiness, we often go the way that ultimately destroys us. We partake of what is not life giving and we are unable to deliver ourselves from our addiction of satisfying ourselves and ourselves only. So God wants you saved.
‘For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time’. (1 Timothy 2:3-6 KJV)
‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ’. (John 1:1-5, 11, 12, 14, 16, 17 KJV)
Jesus is the word of God manifested in the physical to us on earth. He said if you see me you see my father who sent me. He said that he is the way to the father, he is the truth and the light. When you receive him and his words, you find the way out of trouble, out of distress, the way out of doom and gloom and find the way to access the father. If you disregard him, your life has no light, no illumination, you can try by yourself to figure out why things are as they are but without the light of his word shining in your heart, and in your mind, your physical endeavours and your mental faculties only take you so far. If you disregard him and his word you will not find truth.
Truth is unchangeable and stands the test of time. Truth is not popular, refined or pleasing to the natural ear. Truth convicts you, it exposes your weaknesses and inadequacies. It brings up the vomit before it makes you better. That is uncomfortable and so we shut our ability to believe down. Yes , you will find facts, you will find events and circumstances and knowledge but truth which holds it all together, that you will not find except you discipline your hearing ear to hear right.
‘Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light’: (1 Peter 2:6-9 KJV)
There are many who consider Jesus as a revolutionary figure due to the words he spoke while on earth. His words turned the prevailing social, political and religious orders on their heads. He said things that were hard to hear or accept but nevertheless they were the truth.
And like he said, it is only the truth that sets you free indeed. Any other thing besides the truth, does not satisfy your inner quest for long enough. It might give you the outward trimmings but will not set you free on the inside. Real freedom comes when you are free from trying to please yourself and become free to please God. Pleasing yourselve is not a comfortable thing to give up; only the truth about who you really are, why you are here, what you are made to live for, it is this truth that gives you freedom. It makes you free from fear of the unknown, fear of ridicule and fear of reproach. You are free from the sinful, stubborn, hard hearted nature. Anyone who freely gives his life to God proves that he / she is free indeed.
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16:24-26 KJV)
But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God. (John 8:40-47 KJV).
‘While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation’ (Hebrews 3:15 KJV)
‘God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds'(Hebrews 1:1-2 KJV).
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16 KJV)
So listen to some of the words of Jesus and let your ears and your heart hear him today.
‘Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect’. (Matthew 5:43-48 KJV)
‘Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets’. (Matthew 7:12 KJV)
‘Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof’. (Matthew 6:34 KJV)
‘Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets’. (Matthew 22:36-40 KJV)
‘But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all’. (Mark 10:42-44 KJV)
‘For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted’. (Luke 14:11 KJV)
‘She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more’. (John 8:11 KJV)
‘So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her’. (John 8:7 KJV)
‘Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life’. (John 8:12 KJV)
‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world’. (John 16:33 KJV)
‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid’. (John 14:27 KJV)
‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears’. (Luke 4:18-21 KJV)
‘And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves; And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple. And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves. And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine’. (Mark 11:15-18 KJV)
‘Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven’. (Matthew 5:3 KJV)
‘Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone’. (Matthew 23:17, 23 KJV)
‘For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life’. (John 6:55, 56, 60, 61, 63 KJV)
‘Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them’. (Psalm 119:165 KJV)