Larry is young with a supposedly bright, wonderful life ahead of him, but his life is in shambles. He failed his exams and is dropping out of school. His girlfriend cheated on him, and his parents seem impossible. A “friend” told him about these pills he can take, and everything will feel good again.
Why would any of us so quickly abandon everything we know is right?! Because the pursuit of pleasure and happiness is pushed on us from every side as if it were our right. God built into us the desire to pursue the highest value. And when all forms of media tell us that happiness and pleasure are our 'right,' we are deceived into thinking that those things are of the highest value. We pursue it with all our might and inevitably are disappointed, and often destroyed.
In Philippians 3:7-14, Paul discovered that Jesus Himself is the highest value, and he discarded everything else for the high value and joy of pursuing Christ. In pursuing Christ, he found true joy and happiness; the byproducts of personally knowing the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6).
Living in the presence of God, we discover real life and real joy. In Psalm 16:11, King David, the sweet psalmist, praised God for showing him the path of true life, for discovering that fullness of joy is found in God’s presence, and for the pleasures that come forevermore as we remain in His presence. That is endurance, and our only difficulty is resisting the urge to jump away from the presence of the Lord to pursue our own pleasure when the world is thrusting its message at us from every angle.
Can we live today in the happiness and joy that comes from pursuing God, the only true source of Joy?