Summary: There is a way to find all day delight.
INTRO.- ILL.- Dennis Wholey, author of "Are You Happy?" reports that according to expert opinion, only 20 percent of Americans are happy.
One prominent psychiatrist said, "Happiness is an imaginary condition, formerly attributed by the living to the dead, now usually attributed by adults to children and by children to adults." In other words, happiness is something that we think someone else has. We think or say, "He must be happy. Look at his job. Look at the car he drives, the house he lives in, the money he has, etc."
IS A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF HAPPINESS POSSIBLE IN THIS LIFE? Yes, I think it is. But it is not found where most people are looking for it.
ILL.- One man said, "Most Saturdays I turn on the Family Channel at about 1:00 and watch four or five cowboy shows-Bonanza, The Rifleman, The Virginian-with a large bowl of popcorn and a cola. I look at the wide-open spaces, and my mind leaves all the things I have to do.
"I go to the gym to shoot basketball. I don’t run the full court as I used to, but I play horse or sit on the bleachers and listen to the balls bouncing, see the kids screaming, see the guys slam-dunking-completely away from anything that resembles day-to-day work and life. It takes me back to a time when things were simpler. Laughter and joy return."
Brothers and sisters, I know of some people who are constantly on the move. They have to be doing something all the time. They fill their days with endless activities, sports, parties, etc. in order to find some happiness.
There is nothing wrong with enjoying the good things that God has created. But if our emphasis is merely on material things and doing things, life will not provide much joy or lasting joy. If our lives are centered on the gift rather than the giver, we will miss the greatest gift of all.
I Timothy 6:17 "Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment."
God does provide good things for our enjoyment in this life, but our greatest enjoyment should come from knowing Him! Without Him there would be no wealth, no material gifts, no jobs, no hobbies, no sports, no enjoyment at all.
ILL.- In 1975, six armed gunmen broke into the deposit boxes in a London bank and stole valuables worth more than $7 million. One lady, whose jewelry was appraised at $500,000, wailed, "Everything I had was in there. My whole life was in that box." What a sad commentary on her values! She valued the gift more than the Giver!
ILL.- T. M. Moore in "Encounter with God" wrote, "When I was a kid, a favorite pastime was to take in the Saturday matinee. It didn’t matter much what was on. I’d head to the snack bar and plunk down my nickel for a Holloway’s All-Day Sucker. Now I was set. This caramel delight would last me through the entire movie, all the way home, into the evening, and I’d still have some left for the next day."
Brothers and sisters, wouldn’t it be great if we could experience all day delight like that of an all-day sucker? Is lasting joy a possibility? Is all day delight a possibility?