It has been said that the best cure for hedonism is an attempt to practice it.
If you chase after pleasure, you will eventually come to the same conclusion as King Solomon: “I said to myself, ‘Come on, let’s try pleasure. Let’s look for the “good things” in life.’ But I found that this, too, was meaningless. So, I said, ‘Laughter is silly. What good does it do to seek pleasure?’” (Ecclesiastes 2:1–2 NLT).
The Bible tells us that if the driving desire of our lives is to please ourselves, that very quest will be the source of endless problems and heartaches. “What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous for what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it” (James 4:1–2 NLT).
The people who chase after pleasure never really experience it. It comes down to this: If you live for yourself and your own happiness and pleasure, then you will be a miserable person. It’s ironic that the people who live for happiness never find it, while the people who live for God find happiness as a byproduct. The people who chase after pleasure never really experience it. They may find little bits here and there, but nothing to speak of—certainly nothing enduring. Yet the people who live for God experience the ultimate pleasure: a joy that bubbles up from deep down in the inmost being.
Pleasure isn’t, in itself, a bad thing, although you might get that impression from some Christians. I think the Christian life is the most pleasurable life around. Why? Because God is the Creator of light and laughter and joy . . . beginning here and now and stretching on into eternity. The Bible teaches, “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand” (Psalm 16:11 NIV).
Cheap thrills are a dime a dozen. True and lasting happiness comes from the hand of God.
Let’s say that your phone rings tomorrow morning, and it’s a call from the manager of your bank. He tells you, “I received a very unusual call the other day. Someone who loves you very much and is quite wealthy has given you a large sum of money. This anonymous donor will be depositing 86,400 cents into your account every single day.”Do You Want to Change?
“And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house. Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them. Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven you’” (Mark 2:1–5 NKJV).
The lures of this world are rich in temptation, but poor in offering real fulfillment. Momentary thrills can often bring lifetime regret. Tuesday on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie poses a key question: “what do you live for?” It’s an important study in his Happiness Series!All Sermons by Greg Laurie