Pastor’s Corner

parchment

Our Calling to a Life of Pleasure as we Follow Christ

The summer preaching series has been looking at the topic: Pure Pleasure. As people we are wired to look for pleasure and enjoyment in life. The Bible has much to say about the pursuit of pleasure as only God can deliver.

Ecclesiastes chapter 2 chronicles Solomon’s pursuit of pleasure as the king of Israel. He looked for pleasure in ‘wine, women and song’ along with pleasure in building projects and pursuing greatness. He came to this conclusion in Ecc. 2:24-25, “A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?”

Solomon concluded that only the hand of God can provide authentic enjoyment in life.

It is a message that too few people in our culture understand is that the good life is the life that seeks the favor of God. As the first question of the Shorter Westminster Confession sates, “Q. What is the chief end of man? A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever

The older I get the more I realize that entertainment pales in comparison to pleasure experienced in worshiping God and enjoying relationships with family and friends.

The Bible often addresses the experience of joy in the life of the believer. I Peter 1:7-8 says, “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” Enjoyment in life is tied to our relationship with God.

It must be noted that Satan is good at marketing pleasures that do not deliver as promised. Satan would have us believe that immoral sexual pleasures are better than God designed sexual joys. He would have us believe that drugs and alcohol can add meaning to life. Or that watching the hottest program on television will bring pleasure and meaning to our lives.

When many in our culture feel unfulfilled, Satan would have us believe if only we fell in love with the right person, divorced the wrong person or made a little more money, we would be happy. All the while we neglect to look to God as the giver of true pleasure and joy.

I am convinced that one of the keys to enjoying life is slowing down and enjoying what we have been blessed with. Someone defined happiness as “wanting what you have.”

Do we slow down and enjoy a good friendship? Do we appreciate God’s beautiful creation and the gift of four seasons? Have we become conscious of the presence of God in our daily life?

Soren Keirkegaard said, “Many of us pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that we hurry past it.”

Jesus has come so that we might ‘have life and life abundantly.’ (John 10:10) If life is hard or the pain is overwhelming, maybe God is calling us to refocus our priorities. The life of joy is there for the person fully dedicated to following Jesus. This is part of the good news of the gospel and the message our hurting world needs to hear. Jesus has come that we might have life and life abundant.

-Pastor Rick