What is Happiness #4…The Final Answer

I have discovered that REAL happiness is RESTORATION. It is not about having things or having money. It is not about having a “good time”. It is about being restored!

Take the “Parable of the Lost Son” or as commonly referred to, the “Parable of the Prodigal Son”, as found in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 15, vereses 11 to 32. The younger son selfishly asked for his inheritance early, which is a way of saying to his father, “I wish you were dead.” Lovingly, his father grants his wish, and the younger son leaves his father. How often have we selfishly ask for things from God, our Father, and then turn and leave Him as well?

So, the boy blows all his money on “being happy”, and where does it leave him? Ruined! Lost! Wanting! Broken! Hurting! Without anything! Do you know anybody like that? Are you like that? There is only one thing that gives long lasting happiness; return to the Father.

So the boy comes to his senses and decides that the lowest servant in his father’s house is much better off than he is right now…so he returns to his father’s house. What do you suppose he expects to find? Will his father whip him for blowing his inheritance? Will he be rejected by his father? Will he be shut-out, finding locked doors and closed gates? Hopefully, as the boy wishes, he will just be able to become a hired-hand…not even a true member of the family anymore. So what happens?

The father excitedly greets his son with a warm embrace, a great welcome, the best of clothes, and throws a great celebration party! His son has returned! This, my friends, is exactly how God acts when you too will wise up and return back to the Father who created you! This is restoration! This is grace and mercy; it doesn’t matter what you have done, only that you come home! This is what happiness is! Return to God, become a child in your Father’s house…again. Be restored to your original creation before sin ruined our relationship with our Father God…angels will sing! This is the salvation of the lost. There will be much excitment in heaven and we will all join in a great banquet of celebration for the restored. “Once I was lost, but now I am found”…thanks be to God! Amen.

What is Happiness?

This is will be an incomplete post; I am exploring a topic. Have you ever stopped to think what is TRUE happiness? It is not based in “things”. Happiness runs much much deeper; it is not even based on the lack of bad things happening to you.

We are coming into Memorial Day; a day we remember those who have died…and more focused, those who have died in the Armed Services for the good of all mankind. All week long we have been exposed to the awful disaster in Moore, Oklahoma; an huge EF-5 tornado tore the city apart, not 10 miles from my house. I have been praying all week for the 200 homeowners who lost everything. I have been crying all week for the 24 that died in the horrible storm; ten were children, their families now torn apart (not just thier homes). How can you talk about happiness in the wake of such loss?

Let me be clear about a fact…God did not create this tragedy! God is a loving God and wants a loving relationship with all who will turn toward Him. Due to tragic sin and moral sin, we live in a fallen world where bad things happen. We Christians are not promised a life without suffering, but when, not if, but when we suffer loss, we are to turn to Jesus Christ to find comfort. How can Paul and Silas, chained to an awful prison wall, having been flogged to within an inch of their lives, be found singing hymns of praise to their Lord? What is that? Where does that come from? More spiritual progress is made through pain and tears, than through laughter. Paul tells us in Philipians to rejoice in the Lord always; is THAT true happiness? I think so!