The Bible very seldom, if ever speaks of the feeling of happiness. It does, however, tell us of contentment; more so in the New Testament then in the Old. We must try to comprehend that the Bible is not just a series of stories describing events or certain people, but is the ultimate instruction manual for human behavior. It gives us these lessons and instructions through the use of the stories or description of events, and shows us the consequences of certain human activities and actions. The amount of information given to us and the layers of understanding contained in each of these stories is endless. It is one of the miraculous aspects of the Book itself… But returning to contentment for a moment, the Bible does not address this human feeling because God understands that happiness is not for what we should be searching. In fact, as we read through certain stories, we find that the quest for happiness often times brings exactly the opposite effect. Happiness is a relative emotion and the happiness of one person can easily cause great unhappiness to another person. This is not a biblical principle but even Jesus speaks of contentment and having achieved that condition brings great comfort and often joy to whoever has reached being content with what they have and where they are in this life !!!
But, as we return to the Bible and the methods used to give us the lessons and doctrine, we find that it is not complicated nor are there any “codes”. All it requires to gain the incredible amount of information contained within the Bible is to read it with the knowledge that what we are reading is filled with wisdom.The story is the method, not the end product; in fact, each story seems to contain endless products concerning the nature of man and the consequences of the actions of man. And, do not think that any of this has changed over the years. Man is essentially the same now as he was from the day that he was created. Looking at the world today, it would be an easy argument to make that man has actually become more evil and without integrity or nobility today then he was just a few centuries ago…
As we read the Bible, we find it very easy to discover certain unexplained events. The Bible gives us all of the information that we need to know, but does not give us all the information that there is to know. And, we must remember that Satan was right there in the beginning and is right here now trying to create doubt. But, what appears to be unexplained is information that gives us nothing with the exception of beginning to build our faith in spite of any doubts…. And, by faith we are saved !!!!
The Bible is our instruction manual for life and gives us the directions to find contentment. A person that reaches contentment is very fortunate, indeed, and has achieved this gift by understanding the expectations that God has for us and accepts life with trust and faith. And, as a result, that person enjoys life of earth and life for eternity in the presence of God.
Minutes turn into hours; hours turn into days; days turn into weeks; weeks turn into months and months turn into years, and we are all still here !!! And during all of this time passing, we worried and were overly concerned about all sorts of terrible things that may happen, but in reality, none, or very few, of those fears manifested themselves. All of our worrying just diminished our pleasures and it was all useless in the end.We must understand that we are human and subject to worrying, but we should also recognize that we are being helped with introducing fears into our minds and thoughts. Satan likes nothing better than to see us unhappy and will do everything that he can to create doubt in our hearts. But, we have our defenses for such action, however only few use this weapon against Satan in their lives, but all who do not are much less comfortable then they could be…
If we believe God, then we should never have to worry. Having concerns about something is alright and that is when we should bring those concerns to God and have Him comfort us. But, we have two problems !!! The first one is that we do not have time to spend with God because we are too busy worrying about money…. We either think that we do not have enough, or we want to accumulate more, but it is always about money !!! The never ending quest for money has virtually destroyed all that was good in man, with few exceptions. Apparently, the object is to make large sums of money without working for it. Very few people actually do any physical work, and surprisingly, they are the least paid for their efforts. We are inundated with all sorts of inferior and useless products and then convinced that we cannot be happy without them. Integrity is a lost aspect of life and honesty and morality have gone with it. Manufacturers do not attempt to make their products better and more affordable, but think of ways to make them cheaper and increase profits. Advertising has reached the point of absolute lies and all of this is done by people who do nothing and produce nothing themselves. And why is this happening ? Because we have been convinced that our second problem is the essence of a good life…
We are told that we need to be and should be happy !!! And in order to achieve this goal, we need all of these useless products or we are failures in life. Our error is that we seek happiness and this is where the problem lies. Happiness is not for what we should be seeking, but contentment is…. Happiness is a transient feeling and things that make us happy today are not the same things that make us happy tomorrow. Something new always shows up that we are convinced will make us happy and we then go after that useless adventure. In the world of today, technology is king and we all must have the latest toy to be happy. The trouble is that a week after we waste our money on it, it becomes obsolete and we become unhappy with it.
The Bible tells us in many ways that we should seek contentment and we will find peace and joy in our lives. We live in a corrupted world and our leaders are incredibly useless to the average citizen because they do not receive contributions of any size from the average citizen. They are driven by money and integrity and the wishes of the people that they represent are meaningless to them. Our only hope is with God and to listen to what He has told us and to strive to find the contentment that only He can provide by learning from the lessons that He has provided for us in the Bible. It is a wonderful feeling to know that no matter what happens, God will provide for us. Or, we can spend our time attempting to find security in money and live a very unpleasant life… It is our decision to make !!!
We certainly appear to have reached the point of no return in our civilization !!! The disaster of man attempting to rule his domain has resulted in problems that have reached the point from which it is most likely impossible to recover. There is nothing that we can do about the natural events that are taking place on what appears to be a more frequent basis, but we should not dismiss these events as they being the possibility of a warning to us. It appears that the amount and severity of these happening are too close to each other to be overlooked. We had Haiti, Mexico, New Zealand and now Japan as well as many other natural occurrences that have caused incredible destruction and loss of life…
Add to all of this the unbelievable lack of leadership and amount of graft and deceit that man seems to have accepted as being just the way it is, and we continue with the recipe for implosion. The Middle East is a time bomb that appears to be going off and, as usual, we get all excited about the current event until a new one starts and the old one is soon forgotten. The reality of government is to find new ways to tax the people in order to keep the government going. The citizens of the countries in which we live have nothing to do with government policies, but there is little or nothing that can be done because the only people that can correct these problems are the very people that created them. World organizations such as the United Nations are simply a joke with no real power to do anything except keep itself going !!!
And, throughout all of this, there seems to be a lack of the one entity that can solve all of our problems, GOD !!! It is interesting that all nations that allow religious freedom have spent much energy to reduce the aspect of God in all of the institutions and organizations that were developed to find solutions to our problems. The future of any nation or even the world depends upon our children and the principles they are taught as children. But, over the recent years, we have allowed all mention of God to be removed from their education. We have once again acted as mankind usually does, it did exactly the wrong thing !!!
The only solution that we as individuals now have is to protect ourselves and our loved ones from the coming disaster. The world will end someday, this we know and there are some that believe that it will happen soon. This we do not know and will not know until it happens. But, more immediate, is the fact that our own individual world will also end one day and we do not know that day either. But, what we do know is that our own personal end can come without warning and can happen in an instant of time !!! Given that fact, it may be useful to examine our relationship with God and how we are exercising His lessons and doctrines for our lives. If the unaltered Bible is the basis for our lives, we may feel a certain sense of peace no matter what happens in our own lives as well as what is happening throughout the world. If the Word of God is not the basis for your life, it may be time to reconsider that position…..
The recent events to our physical world certainly causes one to consider if these disasters are related to biblical descriptions. Again, we are not suggesting that “ the sky is falling”, but it would be difficult not to wonder if the number and degree of these physical events are not connected in some way to the prophesies given in Daniel and Revelation. Major earthquakes occur about once a month on earth, but the number of extremely large events in diverse places is very unusual. But, there are other prophesies that need to be understood in order to bring all things into proper focus.
The Bible should never be interpreted in any way. It was given to us to be understood, but not altered based upon opinions concerning certain lessons and meanings. There is a slight problem though !!! There are things that have changed and if we make the appropriate adjustments, they must be made without altering the given doctrine. Without quoting directly from the Bible, we can examine a few of these examples in order to get the understanding necessary to comprehend the adjustments.
We are told of mountains falling onto people and not killing these individuals, but there are some that will claim that no mountains have fallen as yet, and that is true. But, there is the possibility that the word “mountains” can be altered and be replaced with “ skyscrapers” and the Word has not been changed or interpreted, just adjusted. We hear about the armies coming by the thousands in chariots at the final battle. It is clear that a chariot would have little chance against the modern military tank and here is another example of the adjustment. We must remember that when the Book was assembled, the buildings and military equipment of today did not exist and so the people of those days would have no idea of what was being described. The “chariots” may very well mean “tanks” and no change to the meaning would take place.
But, in any case, it is clear that we are approaching the possibility of the coming of the end and perhaps the events of these recent days could be a warning to us all. The Bible is filled with warning given by God and for the most part, very few people gave much attention to them. We can only hope that these events are a warning, but if we do not, at least, consider that possibility and all of these events are, in fact, a warning, let us learn from the mistakes of those that came before us !!!
Our prayer should definitely include the unfortunate individual who have suffered so deeply by the recent disasters……
There was an elderly lady who lived alone a small distance from the nearest town in the mid west. She had her mail box at the end of her walkway and she had the same mailman for many years. Finally, the mailman asked her why there was a Bible in the mailbox all of the time, and the woman explained it was so that Satan could not get past the Bible and get to her !!! The old woman actually believed this, but it is no more unfortunate then many other things people believe about Satan…. Do not be fooled by Satan !!! He is very happy when he thinks that there are people that believe that they are being protected against his attacks. The truth is that no one is beyond the reach of Satan and this included Jesus…Although Jesus did not succumb to the satanic attacks, He may be the only person who ever lived that was able to do this.
Most people do not understand or comprehend the constant attempts that we face to be influenced by Satan and his followers. Being a Christian does not eliminate any satanic advances, but it does give us a way of overcoming them. Of course, we have to want to overcome them, but often times, we embrace the satanic influences for the occasional physical pleasure or financial increase that we desire. Then, we ask God for His forgiveness knowing that we are going to do it again. It is a very good thing that God is so good to us !!! We are constantly sinning and there are some that disregard the sin because we know that it will be forgiven. And, as this process begins, the degree to which we sin becomes more intense and Satan has achieved his purpose.
There are some that believe that the Spirit within us prevents us from sinning and this is not true. The Spirit will nudge and remind us of what we are doing, but if the Spirit prevents us from sinning, then no one would sin. The Spirit guides us and reminds us and helps us to overcome these desires, but we must want to overcome them first. And, we must always test the spirits because Satan is a spirit also and can change himself into an angel of light just to confuse us. We have all heard some preacher tell us that the spirit was in him and led him to do or say this or that. This statement should cause us to be very careful of what that person is telling us. Claiming that the Spirit was responsible for any action has the feeling of arrogance and pride that should cause us to wonder. Humility and honesty does not need to be validated by claiming Spiritual influence. A spirit may very well have influenced this person, but the question is which spirit !!!
We all know the difference between right and wrong and we all know that there are times that we do things that we should not be doing. But, we are human and this is a human thing to do. Yes, we should ask for forgiveness, but more importantly, we should ask for His assistance in helping us to stop these actions. Then, the Spirit that is in us will be there to help us as long as we are sincere in our prayer. Thinking that our sins are so insignificant is a very dangerous position to take. Sin is sin and God makes no distinction, are we greater then God to make that decision ??? Never underestimate the power of Satan and never think that as a Christian that we are immune from his attacks. Unfortunately, as Christians, we are attacked more by Satan and he is an expert at what he does. Do not be fooled. We were not told to check the spirits without good reason. Satan is our enemy and will do anything to cause us to be bad witnesses. We must be vigilante constantly because he will look for every opportunity to hurt our purpose.
There are so many things going wrong that it becomes difficult to consider any sense of future that will begin to correct the incredible events and circumstances that we face today. We are not suggesting that the “ the sky is falling”, but we are suggesting that we look at our condition realistically and realize that there is very little hope, if any, that the current situation in the world is going to, all of a sudden, get better. The governing bodies of almost all nations, including our own, is so out of touch with the reality of normal life that they cannot understand the necessity of changing the burdens placed upon the average citizen because these people do not see them as burdens. Our government is concerned only with finding ways to get the necessary funding in order to keep their own positions stable without having to give up any of their own benefits.The current administration has added an additional two hundred thousand new jobs to the government ranks and needs additional funding from the working people in order to pay these virtually useless employees. We hear about all sorts of new ideas that are going to be beneficial to the average person, but nothing seems to happen. And, when a bill does get passed, it is without review and ends up being a disaster and detrimental to us all. And still, nothing is done to correct these errors, just more bills added that confuse the issue even more…. The additional insult to all of this is that all of these government employees will do virtually nothing until it becomes time for them to retire with a pension of 80 to 90% of their last pay amount, and they get this money for the rest of their lives.
So, we are Christians and have the assistance of God with our problems. Does this mean that if we all look to our Lord, that these problems will be eliminated ??? Probably not because most of the people that are causing the condition in which we find ourselves claim to be Christian too. But, we do have an option !!! We can look to God to give us personal peace by trusting in the promises that He has given to us. The Bible tells us that we need not worry because God will supply all of our needs. It does not promise us all of our desires, but we can find comfort in the promise that He will never leave us and is always aware of our condition and will take care of His own.
The world is not going to get any better; we may as well accept that possibility. In fact, it most likely is going to get worse because no one is doing anything about the problems except taking advantage of the problems to add to their own wealth. As a high ranking member of our current administration mentioned in an interview: “…never let a disaster go to waste…” The problem is that with all that is going wrong in the world, we become so frightened and stressed that we cannot enjoy our lives. But, this is easily corrected by trust and confidence in the promises of God given to His people. If we concentrate of Him and not the nightly news, we will find a sense of peace beginning to take hold of us and our lives not only become bearable, but sometimes enjoyable. There is one condition though…. We must be a child of God !!! Claiming Christianity does not make us one, but living within the lessons and doctrine of the instructions for life that He has given to us is the only way to find the peace in our lives that only He can provide.