4/21/2021 – Pastor Brian’s Blog –
If you are on the upper end of the age scale like me, you just might remember a TV show from the mid-80’s entitled “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” The show was based on the extravagant lifestyles of wealthy entertainers, athletes, socialites, and business magnates.
The show was hosted by an English entertainment reporter, Robin Leach. At the end of each show the host would end with a wish for his viewers that became his signature catchphrase: “Champagne wishes and caviar dreams.” Now if you do remember this, you may be older than you care to admit!
Although this show was entertaining, and watching it made you dream of another life, but if you would actually follow the lives of those people to the end of their stories, rarely did it end well. Although they were able to spend extravagant amounts of money and enjoyed things that most of us could only dream about, often they missed that one ingredient that made life really worth living.
The people who seem to ‘have it all’ are possibly missing the most important ingredient in life: happiness. Although we all want to be happy, often we look for it in all the wrong places. Yet those of us that know real happiness in the Biblical sense, understand that true happiness has only one source. Our Creator, God, is the only one that can give us the true happiness that we all long for.
Often in the Bible, the word “blessed” carries with it the idea of happiness. Happy or “blessed” people begin with a relationship with God…
Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.Psalm 1:1-3
A large component of happiness is peace. Many seek for this peace but they cannot find it…
You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.Isaiah 26:3-4
Many people might see God or the Bible as a huge kill-joy, scaremonger, or prophet of doom. Actually God gave us the Bible not to hurt us, but to protect us. Not to keep us down, but to make us successful…
Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.Joshua 1:8
Unlike the happiness that this world provides, we can be happy in the good times…
Happy is the man who is always reverent.Proverbs 28:14
And we can be happy after we have been corrected…
Behold, how happy is the man whom God reproves, so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.Job 5:17
Often people can get so caught up with what they feel God says we can’t do, that they miss out on what God wants to do for them. The idea that God wants me to be miserable, that He only wants to send me to the deepest darkest jungle, that God would never give me a fulfilled, blessed, or happy life, is a lie as old as… well… Satan himself!!
Adam & Eve were in the perfect environment: they had all their needs met (and more), yet they wanted something else. So in order to get more, they determined that they would do it their way. That one choice not only affected Adam and Eve, but it continues to affect all of us today.
Adam & Eve thought they “knew” how to make themselves happy, and they thought they “knew” that their way was better than God’s. We can see clearly that they had severe consequences to pay for getting happiness their own way:
So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.Genesis 3:23
My friends, you can trust God with your happiness, not only for today, but forever…
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.1 Timothy 6:17-19
Obviously, I do not know everyone, but I do know a lot of people. I can say from the people I know, and from my own personal life, that I have never met a person who would say that their life was miserable because of following God. Yet I do know many people that have had miserable and unhappy lives as the result of thinking their way was better than God’s way.
“Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” was a popular show when it was on TV because many of us desired to have that kind of life. Yet most of us truly know, or found out the hard way, that if we follow that “Lifestyle,” that true happiness is not found in “stuff.”
There is only one source for real happiness. And real happiness does not only last for this life but also for the life thereafter…