Category: Happiness


Enjoying Life

Ecclesiastes 2:1-23

Not only was King Solomon the wisest man who ever lived (1 Kings 3:12); he was also blessed with wealth beyond imagination and the privilege of building God’s temple. So we might expect him to know deep contentment.

Toward that end, Solomon devoted himself to studying and exploring all kinds of things. Ecclesiastes tells us that he indulged in the world’s pleasures, even dabbling in pursuits he recognized as folly to see if there was anything worthwhile in them. But the satisfaction Solomon sought evaded him, and he concluded that self-indulgence was without value.

The king tried another avenue to find fulfillment: personal achievement. He undertook great projects, such as building houses for himself, improving the environment with gardens and parks, and carrying out an extensive irrigation project (Eccl. 2:6). The king had everything he could ever need to enjoy life, but in the end, he found it all without meaning.

The story has a familiar ring, doesn’t it? Our world has many highly educated and successful people, but there is also much dissatisfaction with life. Our culture pursues pleasure and does not accept limits on its passions. Sadly, such lack of restraint has ruined countless lives.

Solomon had the wisdom and resources to accomplish whatever he chose to do. Yet the goals he pursued brought no lasting satisfaction. He concluded that the best course was to obey God (12:13). True enjoyment comes when we align ourselves with His will. Any other way is meaningless.

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John 5:30—I can of Myself do nothing.  As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.

The secret of happiness lies not in doing what we want to do but in doing what we ought to do!

Happiness never comes to the person who dodges responsibility.  Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “Happiness is the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.”  There is nothing in the world that helps a man overcome his difficulties, survive his disasters, and stay healthy and happy like the joy of a life’s task worthy of his full dedication.

Righteous responsibility is a mark of spiritual maturity.  We don’t serve the Lord by feeling or emotion, but by duty and devotion.  There is no happiness without righteous responsibility.

Producing or Consuming?

Responsibility comes by degrees with advancing maturity.  In the natural realm, maturity can be measured by whether we are producing more than we consume.  When children are small, all they know how to do is consume.  As they mature they begin to become responsible and productive through simple tasks like carrying out the trash and cleaning up their rooms.

Then comes the day when you say something radical like, “It’s time for you to get a job!”  They look at you, pained and puzzled, and say something profound like, “Me?  Go to work?  Get serious!”

After they recover from the shock, they get a job that covers some of their consumption.  Eventually they will be able to pay their own way.  And by the grace of God, someday they’ll be able to support not only themselves but also a wife and children.

Spiritual Maturity

Spiritual maturity works much the same way.  We must grow to a point where we produce more than we consume.  The church is flooded with spiritually immature creatures who come to church, take in the delicious Word of God, absorb the beautiful music, enjoy the delightful fellowship—and then go swiftly out the door to do absolutely nothing.  They don’t witness to the lost.  They don’t pray.  They don’t give.  They could sing in the choir, but they won’t.  They could serve, but they won’t.

When we’re in this condition, we don’t rise to our righteous responsibility.  The time has come, after years of consuming, to start being productive for the kingdom.  It’s time to put our hands to the plow, to become fruitful servants in the Lord’s vineyard.  Life is God’s gift to us.  What we do with it is our gift to Him.  What are we doing with our lives?  Are we growing toward maturity by being productive?  Or are we stalled in a consumer mode?

Source:  Being Happy in an Unhappy World

John 5:30—I can of Myself do nothing.  As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.

The secret of happiness lies not in doing what we want to do but in doing what we ought to do!

Happiness never comes to the person who dodges responsibility.  Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “Happiness is the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.”  There is nothing in the world that helps a man overcome his difficulties, survive his disasters, and stay healthy and happy like the joy of a life’s task worthy of his full dedication.

Righteous responsibility is a mark of spiritual maturity.  We don’t serve the Lord by feeling or emotion, but by duty and devotion.  There is no happiness without righteous responsibility.

Producing or Consuming?

Responsibility comes by degrees with advancing maturity.  In the natural realm, maturity can be measured by whether we are producing more than we consume.  When children are small, all they know how to do is consume.  As they mature they begin to become responsible and productive through simple tasks like carrying out the trash and cleaning up their rooms.

Then comes the day when you say something radical like, “It’s time for you to get a job!”  They look at you, pained and puzzled, and say something profound like, “Me?  Go to work?  Get serious!”

After they recover from the shock, they get a job that covers some of their consumption.  Eventually they will be able to pay their own way.  And by the grace of God, someday they’ll be able to support not only themselves but also a wife and children.

Spiritual Maturity

Spiritual maturity works much the same way.  We must grow to a point where we produce more than we consume.  The church is flooded with spiritually immature creatures who come to church, take in the delicious Word of God, absorb the beautiful music, enjoy the delightful fellowship—and then go swiftly out the door to do absolutely nothing.  They don’t witness to the lost.  They don’t pray.  They don’t give.  They could sing in the choir, but they won’t.  They could serve, but they won’t.

When we’re in this condition, we don’t rise to our righteous responsibility.  The time has come, after years of consuming, to start being productive for the kingdom.  It’s time to put our hands to the plow, to become fruitful servants in the Lord’s vineyard.  Life is God’s gift to us.  What we do with it is our gift to Him.  What are we doing with our lives?  Are we growing toward maturity by being productive?  Or are we stalled in a consumer mode?

Source:  Being Happy in an Unhappy World

(2): Happiness is inward

Matthew 5:6—Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.
Happiness is inward. It’s living life from the inside out!  Part Two

God’s Standards

The United States government has a National Bureau of Standards in Washington, D.C.  It sets standards for weights and measures all over the country.  It guarantees that a pound of bologna weighs sixteen ounces whether you order it in Texas or Florida.  Distance, time and public opinion do not affect the National Bureau of Standards.

The Bible is the ultimate standard of righteousness for all people all over the world.  What is sin in Texas is sin in Florida, in Europe, in Africa, in Asia and everywhere else.  Distance, time and public opinion do not affect God’s standard of righteousness.  “In the gospel,” writes Paul, “a righteousness from God is revealed” (Romans 1:17).

The Garments of Righteousness

What attitude should the church take toward a sin-saturated world that protests against God’s standard of righteousness as being “out of step with the times”?  Shall we lower the standard of righteousness so that immoral and godless rogues can sit with comfort in the house of God?

The truth is, it’s not in our power to lower the standard of righteousness.  God has forever established that standard on earth through the life of Jesus Christ.  Those who profess to lower the standard to appease complacent congregations are hirelings, not shepherds.  They are preaching a false gospel.

Righteousness is not living “just a cut above” the pagan next door.  It’s right living according to the Word of God.  the garments of righteousness never go out of style.  God never alters the robe of righteousness to fit the man.  Rather He alters the man to fit the robe.  God doesn’t have “different strokes for different folks.”  Time, distance or changes in public attitudes do not alter God’s standard of righteousness one iota.

Source:  Being Happy in an Unhappy World

The Bible tells us that God opposes the proud and that haughty eyes are detestable to Him (Proverbs 6:16-17).

In the first chapter of his letter to the Romans, Paul lists some of the most despicable people on the face of the earth.  Among them are those “filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity,” those “full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice,” and those he calls the “arrogant and boastful” (Romans 1:29-30); in other words, the proud.

Being broken in spirit was utter rubbish to the Romans.  They worshipped the god of power.  “If you want to be happy,” the Romans said, “knock your enemy to the ground, put a sword to his throat and say, ‘Make a wish!’”

To the equally proud Jews, being poor in spirit was the last thing in the world to do to be happy.  They had their own formula for happiness, and poverty of spirit was definitely not one of the ingredients.

How are we to identify those who are broken in spirit and those who are diseased with pride?  Three illustrations in the Bible nail it down for us.

The first is Jesus’ story of the Pharisee and the tax collector.  These two men went to the temple to pray.  The Pharisee prayed, “God, I thank You that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector.”  The tax collector, standing at a distance, “would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me a sinner’” (Luke 18:11-13).

Source:  Being Happy in an Unhappy World