Temple Baptist Church - 7-10-2011
A. I preached on “The Secret Of A Happy Life” a couple of weeks ago and we saw that a happy life for the child of God comes only through the Lord Jesus Christ. If you can live a happy life outside of Christ, you are not one of His! Period! When we find fulfillment outside of Christ, we are convicted, chastised, or both.
B. This evening, I want to look at the “ingredients” of a happy life. What does happiness in this world for the believer mean? First of all, I deem it important to explain what wrong ingredients are.
1. Prosperity is a wrong ingredient! Thank the Lord for money! That may seem to be a contradictory statement but I thank the Lord that He has met my needs over the years. While the love of money is the root of all evil, money is not evil in itself. Money is amoral. It has no morality as it has no life or capability to do wrong. It is a tool to be used for the betterment of our lives. I was not born rich and have not made a fortune in my lifetime. My wife and I tithe and give to missions, pay our bills, buy our food, purchase the necessities, go out to eat on occasion, and actually have a few dollars in our pockets. Money cannot purchase a happy life. It may purchase momentary happiness but the happiness is gone as quick as the money is.
2. Property is a wrong ingredient! Isn’t it nice to have things? Once again, this is not a contradictory statement. We have certainly been blessed with more than we need. My things are not all new things. I have a 22 year old truck, a 12 year old van, a 35 year old house, and a used four wheeler which I appreciate much. I have nothing to complain about. What I have is fine and, when it no longer gets the job done, the Lord will allow me to have another. Property will not bring about happiness of life in itself.
3. Position is a wrong ingredient! It is nice to also advance in the job place but you can be the CEO of the largest corporation in America and be miserable. When you just “punch a clock,” you can clock out and leave the work behind. The sleep of a hardworking man or woman is sweet. The CEO often brings his job to the home because he has more to worry about than just self.
b. Enough said on that subject but we need to know that happiness is not found in things. The ingredients to happiness for you and I is found in these verses that we read.
1. Happiness is found in Salvation – verse 1 I will not spend time on this point because we looked at salvation in the first 5 words of the Psalm but I will say, “If you are not saved and right with the Lord, you will never be happy in this world or the world to come!
2. Happiness is found in Contentment – vs. 1-2 “I shall not want.” You can be saved, have all that the Lord provides for you, and not be happy if you are not content.
a. “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.” 1 Timothy 6:6-8 But godliness with contentment is great gain. (7) For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. (8) And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. (Contentment with your things! If what you have is neither enough nor is it good enough, you will always be seeking either more or difference.)
b. “He leadeth me beside the still waters.” Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. (Contentment with your circumstances! I have often said that life is hard and often unfair but that is just life. Like it or not, you will have troubled times as well as good times; you will have poverty as well as prosperity; you will be hated as well as loved; you will be sick as well as healthy; you will weep as you will laugh; that is called life.)
You and I will never be happy in this life until we are content with what and where we are! The Lord feeds us and He leads us. Both provision and providence are in His hands.
3. Happiness is found in Restoration – vs. 3
1 Peter 2:25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls. (There are times when we, as God’s children, begin to stray. Happiness is not found in the life of straying but thank the Lord that happiness is found in the act of restoration! He restoreth my soul. I can repent, get right with God, but then it takes an act of God to restore my soul with the “balm of Gilead” that only the Lord can apply.)
4. Happiness is found in Righteousness – vs. 3 “paths of righteousness”
a. Paths of Righteousness are for our sake. 1 Timothy 6:6 Godliness with contentment is great gain.
1 Timothy 2:1-2 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; (2) For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. (Peaceful lives are found in godliness, not sinfulness. Sin will cause the child of God to have a life of turmoil and tragedy! The wages of sin have never changed: death! A clear conscience makes for a soft pillow. We will never be happy while walking at a guilty distance from the Lord.)
b. Paths of Righteousness are for His sake. His name’s sake!
Proverbs 22:1 A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold. (Our lives, as Christians, are to glorify the Lord in this present, evil world. We are the only Bible that the world will read and our “epistles” will either lead them to Christ or drive them away. Our life is to reflect the Lord’s leadership, provision, protection, and our satisfaction.)
Conclusion: I will sum this all up in one statement: Happiness is the Lord!