Peace, Freedom, and Happiness
Have you ever thought, "If I could be perfectly free, I would be happy; I would have peace?" Many people have sought complete freedom in order to have happiness and peace. People desire to be free of all restraints, somehow believing that if they could do just as they please, this would bring happiness. Does it?
The laughter and carefree atmosphere in the dim light of the bar appeal to many with their promise of happiness. Young people with six packs, cigarettes, cars, and all night to indulge with their companions feel assured of happiness. These settings don't provide the peace and happiness people are seeking.
Marijuana, hallucinatory drugs, and crack promise wonderful highs. Surely, we think, this would bring happiness, and with that happiness, peace. Do they?
Modern music, which penetrates mind and body, works together with alcohol and drugs to bring more highs. This does not bring real happiness either.
Indulging sexually to the fullest extent of human lust, with no thought of self-restraint offers promise of fulfillment. It only brings an emptiness and disappointment. No, happiness is not found here.
In our time many are promoting the thought that in these and other areas, we should be completely free to do just as we please. They believe that there should be no law, no stigma, and no ill feelings for the one who indulges in these gratifications in his pursuit of happiness and peace. It is thought that total freedom ought to bring peace and happiness. Happiness is always to be found they advocate, in yet another indulgence, another high of some kind. Surely, we think if we are seeking only happiness we will not be held responsible for whatever may be the result of our actions. We feel that we are entitled to our fair share of "happiness."
In view of the risks involved in such indulgences some popular cautions are given: Do not drink and drive. Crack may kill you. Practice safe sex. If pregnant, get an abortion. This advice is not the remedy.
If happiness is to be found in these ways, why the lonely feeling in the crowded bar? Why the low after the high? Why the uneasy feeling after the indulgence? Why the letdown feeling after the intimate relationship breaks off. If indulgence brings happiness and peace, why do they always seem to be just beyond our grasp? Why so many problems and why does life seem so empty?
Self-indulgence is not true freedom. It will never bring happiness or peace. Self-indulgence is sin because it is service to self instead of service to God.
Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-29, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls."
How is it with you? Do you feel uneasy and troubled? Do the problems in the world and in your relationships cause you anxiety, guilt, and fear? Do you sometimes wonder if anybody really loves and cares for you?
Be assured God does love you. He is keenly interested that you find peace, freedom, and happiness. True peace comes not in indulging more, but in giving up yourself. Yielding yourself to God and trusting Him brings rest to your souls. Jesus says, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you" (John 14:27).
Answer Jesus' invitation. Come unto Him with all your heart. Give to Him your past, present, and future. Repent of the empty, wasted life you have been living. Then you will find true freedom, true happiness, true peace, and true love. You will have hope for the future and the promise of eternal life if you will remain faithful. May God bless you as you seek and find peace and rest.