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Love And Happiness

posted May 16, 2014, 5:31 PM by hbchurch org


“With love one can live even without happiness.”

(Fyodor Dostoyevsky)

     The Russian novelist who made this observation certainly knew a few things about unhappiness. For example, he was sentenced to death by a firing squad but at the last minute he was sent to Siberia for four years of hard labor. The conditions in Siberia were so bad that just the thought of going there drove some people to suicide so they could escape the misery. The only book he was allowed to read while trying to survive those inhumane conditions was the New Testament.

    I wonder if he formed his view of love after reading John’s writings?  His statement is not a citation of scripture, but it is suggestive of the influence God’s word can have on men’s ideas. Scripture not only teaches us about getting to heaven, but it’s our guide to practical living. Everything we need to know about life and godly living is revealed in the Bible (2 Peter 1:3), but this truth is often overlooked by the casual reader.

    We need to learn to read the Bible for more than facts and doctrine. We must let this revelation from God penetrate our heart. We accomplish this is through meditation upon His words. King David said the law of the Lord was his meditation “all the day” (Psalm 119:97). This does not mean that he never thought about anything else, but that he viewed God’s word as highest object of his thoughts. One wonders how our view of life, love and happiness might change if we spent four years reading and meditating upon nothing but the New Testament. I suspect that for most people, there would be a dramatic change in their thinking.

    Continuous exposure to the vivid picture of God’s love will make a huge impact on all but the hardest of hearts. The message of God’s love is designed to touch hearts. The first time the Good News about the death, burial, resurrection and exaltation of Jesus was preached, 3,000 hearts were pierced (Acts 2:37, 41). Peter’s message about the magnitude of God’s love and mercy moved them to ask the question, “What must we do…?”.

    Love is the most compelling force that man will ever encounter. Many people are living under the mistaken notion that life is all about the pursuit of happiness. What if you were in a place where happiness was virtually impossible? Would you give up? How would you be able to cope?

    The obvious answer is love, the love of God, not the touchy, feely sentimentality masquerading as love. The only place to learn about real love is by meditating upon love as it is described in the Bible. Unfortunately, we have let worldly cares so engulf us that we have little time left for serious meditation. It’s too easy to listen to Satan’s lies about happiness and forget God. Here is one citation to get you started thinking about true happiness: “Happy are the people whose God is the Lord!” (Psalm 144:15) So, is He the Lord of your life?   KD