Success or Happiness

June 2, 2020

BY Pastor Bob

"Success or Happiness; Your Choice"
by Pastor Bob

Success is defined as: a person or thing that has had success, as measured by attainment of goals, wealth, etc.

Happiness is defined as: good fortune, pleasure, contentment, joy.

When is a person deemed a success? What constitutes success in the world today? It seems that success is limited to a person’s wealth, social standing, athletic abilities, persona, acting abilities, etc.

Is being a success a bad thing? No, but is it the only thing we should strive for? I don’t believe it is. Now there’s nothing wrong with trying to be the best at things, such as your job or whatever it is you’re doing. As a matter of fact, the Bible tells us to do our work as unto the Lord. In other words, whatever we do, it should be like the Lord is our customer. We try to please the customer. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be in business very long. People would stop coming to us. So, in this sense. There is nothing wrong with trying to be a success.

Let me ask this: why do we try to be successful? Is it our main goal in life to be a success? What will it fulfill in our lives? Will it make us happy? Will we be content if we’re a success? If that’s all we’re after, then I don’t think so.

I think everyone has a void in their life, something that people try to fill with “stuff,” the stuff that’s everywhere we look. Drugs, sexual fulfillment, money, fame, cars, etc. This “stuff” will only fill that void temporarily. It feels good for just a short while, but then reality sets in: is that all there is? It reminds me of a song sung by Peggy Lee called “Is That All There Is?” that describes some life experiences. I think if you’re caught up in “stuff,” that’s what you’ll find: it doesn’t fill that void.

Jim Carrey the actor and comedian is worth 180 million dollars, 180 MILLION DOLLARS! You’d think he has it made, right? Well, this is what he said about the subject, and I quote, “I wish everyone could get rich and famous and get everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that’s not the answer.” So, you can see that the “stuff” in his life just didn’t get it, didn’t make him truly happy.

I have a friend who became drug user life early. He said that he was only high three times in his life. The first time was when he smoked marijuana. He had never felt anything like that ever! It was fantastic! But he never felt that “buzz” again. Sure, he got “buzzed” every time he smoked it, but it just wasn’t the same, it wasn’t like the first time he smoked it. But he kept smoking it trying to find that initial buzz again. He never found it though. The second time he got high was when he experimented with some pills. It was just like when he smoked marijuana the first time: it was incredible! What a high! But, like the marijuana, he never felt that initial rush: it just wasn’t the same. But he kept taking the pills, trying to find that initial rush again. He never found it. The third time he got high was when he tried heroin. It was like when he tried marijuana and pills: it was incredible! WOW! He kept shooting up heroin, but it wasn’t the same: it wasn’t like the first time he tried it. And with all these drugs, he was chasing the high, but he never found it.

While sitting in jail for drug use, he started reflecting on his life and realized what a waste it was, that he was going to die if something didn’t change. What changed for him was the fact that he surrendered his life to Christ, he gave up control of everything, and has been drug free ever since. He now counsels people who are in bondage to drugs, and tells them that the only thing that has sustained him is Jesus Christ.

But what then, can make us truly happy? What is there in this world that can fulfill us? In 1 John it states that we are not to love the world or the things (stuff) in the world i.e., the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life. They’re not from God. So, where do we turn to? Where do we go to fill that void in our lives?

Jesus said He gives us peace. How does that help? What does peace have to do with anything? Peace is defined as: a state of tranquility or serenity. So, Jesus gives us a state of tranquility or serenity. The Bible states that we can have a peace beyond all understanding, that in whatever circumstance we’re in, we can have peace; tranquility or serenity about it. Now that doesn’t mean that we are always happy and we always like what is happening around us. After all, there is evil in the world. There’s death of our loved ones and friends, there is injustice, there is unfairness, cheating, etc. But we can have a peace about it because we know there is Someone in our lives that helps us through it all, that’s in control of it all.

The peace He gives us ultimately brings us happiness. Remember, happiness is defined as good fortune, pleasure, contentment and joy. I contend that the only way to have contentment and joy, or happiness is to have Him in our lives. Success, by itself cannot fill what is missing in our inner being, or our souls. Stuff doesn’t get it, stuff doesn’t fill the void. You can only fill up your life with so much stuff, until you realize what my friend found: a wasted life, a life that didn’t make him happy.

The only way to be truly happy is to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. If you have found that you have no happiness in life and have tried everything else under the sun, try Jesus. It’s easy; just ask Him. Tell Him you want that peace that only He gives. He gives it freely and abundantly.

That’s who He is, that’s what He’s all about; so it’s your choice, success or happiness? Stuff or contentment?