Well, too many. Strange thing, indeed! And yet it makes some sense, when we consider happiness as God defines it. Happiness is keeping God’s law.
And that’s where pleasure-seekers draw the line. “Time out! You mean happiness lies in law-keeping? Commandments? That’s too restrictive.” And yet, it’s precisely within the orbit of a devout and conscientious walk with God that true happiness is found. Counter-intuitive, but true.
Hear the ancient wisdom-words of Psalm 34:
What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open to their cry. The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
The pleasure-seeker fights the fences. He tramples them down in defiance. And yet O how we need fences to be happy! Oddly enough, in God’s world (is there another?), boundaries bless. They protect, they channel, they guide, they consecrate. But remove them, and pleasure-seeking runs headlong from good, green pastures into the wilds of insecurity, anxiety, directionlessness, and depression. And that’s just the beginning.
Who wants to be happy? Then think outside the box. Way outside.
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This Lord’s day (Sunday), August 2, we will be treating this text, as it is quoted by the Apostle Peter. You are very welcome to join us.