Why are so many people unhappy in this world? Could it be they are lacking something in their lives?
We've just come out of a wonderful holy day season with the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread and now we're here on the weekly Sabbath once again to be reminded that we have come out of a wonderful unleavened situation that we were taught these past days, the Days of Unleavened Bread, but now we're back in a world where leaven is all around us. And you and I have a battle on our hands and that battle reminds us of some very interesting things we want to cover today in the message I have for you.
When our country was founded, the United States of America, the founders of this country wrote what was called a preamble to the Declaration of Independence, I think most of us remember hearing about the Preamble and there is a phrase there that is very important for us to look at. It says that the whole purpose of this was that those who were embracing this would be able to live their lives in the pursuit of life, liberty and the pursuit of what? Happiness. A very important element, I don't think anyone wants to live a life of misery. We know there is misery in this world but as far as living a life pursing happiness, that's what we want. In fact a little on the fun side of this, I'd like you to join me here. In 1988 the best song of the year reaching a Grammy's award was what they call a one-hit wonder, kind of shot up on the charts, made its approach and then it disappeared and the reason it was popular, because it was actually a kind of acappella, there was not a whole lot of music, it was just acappella commentary. The gentleman who did it was Bobby McFarin, you might remember him and he did a song called, "Don't Worry, Be Happy." I thought I would have a little fun with you on this one here because to go back and listen to this is quite interesting and it fits right into the topic that we're going to discuss today. As individuals, God wants us to understand something about this very subject of being happy. Bobby McFarin goes on like this:
Here is a little song I wrote, you might want to sing it note for note,
Don't worry, be happy.
But in every life we have some trouble, but when you worry you make it double,
Don't worry, be happy.
Ain't no place to lay your head, somebody came and took your bed,
Don't worry, be happy.
Landlord says your rent is late; he may have to litigate,
Don't worry, be happy.
Absolutely, be happy. A little fun introduction there because that's the title of the sermon that I want you to see today as we explore the scripture, where God revealed to us that God wants you to be happy. He really does. And the reason that is important for us is because remember the Israelites when they came out of Egypt, they came out with a high hand, they were happy. And we, coming out of this world, this leavened world, must likewise remember to be happy for what God has done in the calling of our life at this time.
It's interesting to note and there are many scriptures which I won't go through them, I'll just reference you, you can go to a regular concordance and look up the word "happy" and you'll be surprised what you find. But let's go back because we came out of Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread; let's go to John 13, where we'll begin this afternoon. John 13 — here in this chapter He addresses the foot washing ceremony with the disciples and in verse 17 He summarizes by saying this:
John:13:17 — If you know these things...the things that He was expressing to them, notice...happy are you if you do them.
Happiness is related to what you do and of course what you do better reflect the will of God, that's what will bring happiness. The problem we see today in our world, and here we, as individuals in the Church of God, God wants us to be happy, to be a reflection of what He intends for ultimately, all mankind and we find something very interesting, is that we live in a world today, and especially the United States, we have such abundant freedoms and such blessings and yet you hear nothing but a bunch of whiney crybabies out there. We don't hear people thanking God and appreciating — now there are some, that's not a blanket all covering statement, there are people who are concerned about the direction America is going, but there are even people who are Christians who cannot truly say they are happy. They claim to be Christian, but they're not happy inside, they're worried about this, worried about that. Why are so many unhappy?
I'm going to go over, in this message today and just cover some axioms of thought, something to reflect on and think about because, as I say, God wants you, He wants me, He wants everyone, if we really understand from His point of view, He wants us to be happy. I can't find anywhere in the bible, I haven't discovered anything where God says, "Thou shall be miserable all the days of thy life." It's not there! But He says, do this and you'll be happy, do this, you'll be blessed, do something else and it leads to death in the long run. So I think this becomes very important for us to look at because we have a lot of people today in this world who are unhappy. We see people taking their lives, we see people doing terrible things. All this begins to reflect something that is awry in the character of the people of the United States and not just us, but the character of people around the world, people today are unhappy, something is wrong and part of that unhappiness stems because there is sin in this world. Now we talked about that during the Days of Unleavened Bread, it's something people don't talk about because now with psychology and a lot of other things that have come along, people just think they have problems and if we just work together and solve our problems, we would get rid of everything, you know, you can exercise your own demons. They don't realize there are dark sinister forces out there that are working in this world to try to overthrow the person who wants to walk in the footsteps of Jesus Christ.
Abraham Lincoln, one of our Presidents of the United States, he made an interesting statement back when he was alive, he said, "People are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." There's a lot of truth to that and also a Roman emperor named Marcus Antonius once made this statement: "No man is happy who does not think himself so." In other words, again, as you think in your heart, so are you. You can end up leading yourself in that direction.
One of the key areas to truly be happy, from a biblical point of view, is this:
You've got to be searching and reaching for a spiritual mind. If you're not a spiritual minded person, you're not a happy person, you're not a happy camper, as they like to use the term and what will end up happening is you'll be constantly struggling within yourself and the bible shows us that while we struggle against carnality, once converted the thing that we have to keep in mind is that we have feed the spiritual mind and that's where the Word of God comes into play.
"Happy are you if you do these things." Anything God asks us to do is never going to hurt us, it's going to make us happy and we're going to be tickled pink, absolutely wonderfully happy when we see the final conclusion, when God draws back the curtains and shows us, this is what I had had in mind. We're just going to be dumbstruck, absolutely, we're not going to have words — this is what You have for us, the glory, the honor, the immortality, the eternal life through Jesus Christ, as He leads us through the ages of eternity with blessings at God's right hand forevermore! How do you wrap your mind around things like that? I mean, we believe it, we see it, but we can't experience it in this lower level, it will be something far greater down the road. But in Matthew 5 we have a very important area, it's called a Sermon on the Mount and in Matt. 5, it's a chapter that deals with happiness and it tells you all the different things that one should embrace in order to be a happy Christian — "Blessed is he...substitute the word "happy" for the word "blessed" and you are blessed when you follow this admonition. And Jesus tells us that our happiness results in having our minds orchestrated in a certain way, if our minds are pulled in a different direction we become unhappy. When we listen to what God says through Jesus Christ, then we begin to get the picture, because He has the picture in His mind, He never forgot the picture when He walked on this earth, He knew what His Father's will was and He lived to fulfill that will. You and I are fighting and overcoming each and every day so that we can grow in grace and knowledge and likewise come with that understanding in the process of time.
Happiness cannot be found in having everything you desire, that's an axiom of life, something to think about, you cannot find happiness by having everything you desire, life is not that way and people today are in serious problems because of that. If you go back to Ecclesiastes:2:1-11 you read how Solomon was empty inside, he was trying to find, what is it that a person can do to satisfy themselves and really be happy. So he built gardens, he did this, he did that, you know the story I'm sure, he had lots of women in his life, that can be a blessing and that can be a curse — in his case, it was a curse because God said as a king he wasn't to multiply wives and he did it in a way that was not good and that later came back to haunt him and it brought him down in terms of his relationship with God in his latter years.
But as we look in terms of scripture, the apostle Paul gives us some very important information and I'd like you to turn with me to I Timothy 6 because here we find some very very helpful information. In I Tim. 6:6-10, he begins here by saying:
I Tim. 6:6 — But godliness with contentment is great gain.
Notice, godliness reaching with that spiritual mind, for the things of God and with contentment, learning how, as the apostle Paul said, whether I rise, whether I'm on the high side, the low side, therefore I have learned to be content. It's a learning process, everything in life is a learning process and it goes on to say:
V. 7 — For we brought nothing into this world, and certainly we can carry nothing out.
Nothing from a material point of view, but from a spiritual, character point of view, we can take something with us when that time comes. And he goes on and says:
V. 8 — And having food and raiment, let us be content.
Be happy that you've got something to eat and be happy you've got some clothes to wear, there are a lot of people in this world that have hardly anything and yet, sad but true, in some cases in third world countries, they are happy with less. And we who have so much more of the blessings of life, we are unhappy. How is that? Well it's because we put our affection on the wrong thing. People in the world want things as well as we do but they just don't have that blessing yet. The blessing of Israel has been turned into a curse upon them now because they've become materialistically minded and it says right here in verse 9:
V. 9 — They that will be rich fall into temptation.
Now, do people want to be rich today? Look at all the quiz shows, Millionaire and all these other ones that are out there where you can win money just by guessing things and go into a store and you'll see all these lottery tickets up there, what are people buying all that stuff for? They're hoping to get rich; they're hoping they can strike it rich. But if that happens, notice what it says:
V. 9 — And there's a snare and into many foolish and hurtful lusts (or desires, inordinate desires) which drown men (as well as women) in destruction and perdition. Verse 10 - For the love of money is a root of all evil...
Look at the robberies and the killings and the things that take place every day in this world and in our society. And what do they do it for? Worthless paper, there's no value, it's a Federal Reserve Note, there's nothing to back it! And yet they kill people and you hear it every day, people getting assaulted for worthless paper that has just a bunch of ink on it. It says:
V. 10 - ...while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith and have pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
So what he's basically saying here is that when people get caught up in just wanting to desire and live with the Joneses...you notice how now because of this financial thing, how it's changed, how the banks are changing some of their advertising? Instead of showing, get your MasterCard and the guy he is up to debts up to his ears and so forth and they do it in a humorous way — now it's reversed, now they're saying, we want just the basics, just get back to the old common sense things because we don't want this living up, trying to keep up with the Joneses. Well for a long time society sure was geared that way, consumer spending, buy buy buy. Now we were never told, save save save! And now it's coming home to roost in our society. That vicious cycle of keeping up with the Joneses has really caused a big problem for a lot of people today. Solomon put it this way in Ecclesiastes:6:7, he says:
Ecc:6:7 — All of the labor of man...everything you labor for as individuals...is for the mouth and yet the soul is not satisfied.
Now why is that? Because the word of God is what is necessary to feed upon, to have the spirit in man satisfied. And just like having a good meal that satisfies you, well the word of God has got to satisfy that longing that we have as men and women. But labor for the mouth, you're not satisfied; we have to learn that things do not make us happy. Things do not make us happy, that's an axiom of life, we will not be happy seeking after someone different than we are. You know a lot of times we see somebody and this individual, we want to be like this other individual because we admire, we see them and we admire them, I want to be like them. You remember back in the movie days when Clark Gable first made it on the scene? He had this little cookie duster mustache that he wore and a lot of you who are older probably remember this, some of you younger ones wouldn't, but oh man, guys went out and got these little cookie dusters and they started putting them on their lips — why? They wanted to be like Clark Gable, he was a hunk from Hollywood, see the girls go aaah for Clark Gable! Then later on, here came Elvis Presley's time, Clark Gable is out of the picture, now a new generation, so what does Elvis do? He comes up, back with the leather coats and all that stuff and then he had this little sneer on his face where he raises his lip...I can't do that...but you know! You've seen it. Everybody said, wow, that's cool. And then of course you see other things like that, how we're manipulated.
There was a book by Mr. Kupelian called The Marketing of Evil that is a good book to reference in terms of seeing how we're being manipulated. Back in the fifties, you remember some of you, remember the fifties? Where does time go? They had a commercial back at that time called "A little dab will do ya." Remember that? It was for Brylcream. Now come on guys, you know as well as I, we knew a little dab wouldn't do, we had to put the whole tube on, those were the greasy days and boy the guys were really plastered down because they thought the girls liked that — and maybe they did at the time, I don't know! Then that all disappeared. Now we're on to other things.
My point being, we're manipulated and the same way with the clothes we wear and that presents a real problem for a lot of you ladies today, in all respect. You're under assault, the clothing industry is making it very difficult for you to find the type of clothes that you really need to wear and be mindful of constantly and you do a commendable job, my hats off to all of you ladies. But you know what I mean and you have a responsibility with the younger children coming up because who do they see? They see these people like Britney Spears — she started off as a sweet girl and she's off the cliff now and she's, you know. And now you've got the new one now, everyone wants to be like Hannah Montana and you know, it starts out and then it ends up going haywire. We have to be careful on so many things and for women today, women are being really being merchandised just as much as teenagers were merchandised in the 1950's for buying records, those old 45 rmp records if you remember and now you know it's the new stuff, they've got the cd and dvd videos and all this stuff. The point being, again, seeking to try to be like someone else, God doesn't want you to try to be like somebody else, He wants you to be conformed to Jesus Christ, He wants you to be who you are, but formed in character and molded like Jesus Christ. If God the Father sees Christ in us, then we're on the right track.
If all He sees is us trying to work the outside and we're not working the inside — and that's what the Days of Unleavened Bread are all about, getting the inside cleaned up so that the outside might reflect Jesus Christ. This is very important because what we see in our world today, people think they will be happy if only I could...if only...if only...ever hear the if only's? If only I had more money I would be happy, if only I had a new house, a new car, if only I had some nice clothes like those other people over there, then I'd be happy. No, happiness is a state of mind and Matthew:25:15 gives us a very important picture, it tells us about the fact that there were talents given to people in the parable of the talents and in that what happened? He said everyone was given a certain amount, according to their several abilities. And what God asks us is to develop those several abilities and we'll be judged based on that. We're not going to be compared to someone else, someone else has ten and you only got five, you're not going to be compared, well why didn't you do like the ten? You do the best you can and the one thing that was noticed in that parable is the one that pulled back and buried the talent didn't use what he had. All of us have talents and abilities and we need to pray and ask God to help us use those talents and abilities to His glory and not to pull back and just say, well, if I could this or I could that...no, the bottom line is with God, He can make your dreams come true, He's the one that can make you happy as you are.
Look at all these people that go to Hollywood and get all these facelifts and everything, you ever notice how their face drops after awhile? It doesn't stay up does it? Ends up going down and they look terrible, they get these Botox things and everything, you know some of these popular people, they're not happy where their nose is so they bob their nose and then they don't look like who they were! Remember the old days of Jimmy Durante? He was on television and they used to call him the schnozz! And the reason why was he had this big bulby nose! Well he didn't go out and feel bad about himself and say, what am I stuck with this nose for? He made a livelihood out of it and so you always see a picture of him and he's got that big nose, that's his trademark. Take that nose off of him and he's gone. Now that happened to Paul Anka, if you ever think of looking back at some of the early days of Paul Anka, he had a little bit more of a broader nose but he had a nose bob and I didn't recognize him at first one time when I saw him! See you don't recognize when you start messing around with the machinery that God gave you.
We can't improve on God, what He's looking for is the character because all of us are changing as the years go by and we all see that we're not like we once were and what God wants us to understand is that in this world that you live in you have three kinds of people — the I will's, they set their mind to do something, the I won'ts — I'm not going to do that — and the I can't. That's very interesting, the wills, the ones who will to do it, determine, the ones who won't and the ones who can't. Three basic categories.
Too many of us are falling into, we will not do what we can do, and we're pleased with it. Now that's something we have to watch out for. We get into a comfort zone and we're happy with the way we are and that's not good enough. God is always guiding us with His spirit to move forward. Remember the word is growth, spiritual growth, that's what we're looking for in our lives. If that's not there, then what we're doing is stagnating spiritually. God wants us to move forward so happiness is what? Moving forward, we heard that in the sermonette, we can't go back, we can't look back because it's devastating to go back and what is offered is so pitiful compared to what God has revealed.
God wants us to understand happiness is not found in running from here to go there, that's another axiom of thought — I'm not happy here, so I'll go there. And this is what's happened to some of the people that we've seen over the years in the Church of God. They get dissatisfied here, I'm going to go over here, now I'm dissatisfied there, I'm going to go somewhere else. How can you be dissatisfied with the truth? If you're dissatisfied, that means you're unhappy and you haven't found out what's making you unhappy and this is the problem so many struggle with. They're waiting for that magic pill, they're trying to find the happy place, if I can just get to California, I'll be happy. Arnold Schwarzenegger says I don't want you here! Why? We're having troubles! Oh, so now I'll go to Florida- Florida says we don't want you there. Why? Housing problems down in Florida. Where do I go? I'll go to Texas, can't go there, drug wars with Mexican bandits coming across the Rio Grande. You see what's happening? You can't find happiness running here and there, it's usually grown right under your own feet. What's the little child's story that we have about the grass always looks greener on the other side of the mountain? Ever notice how something that maybe you desire, you see it in somebody else's hand and you say, boy I'd like to have that, as soon as you get it in your hand it doesn't look the same. It's like whatever you thought that was, it's not the same anymore. It's because, again, we live in a world that subverts us through coveting which is the breaking of the tenth commandment. We covet unknowingly, that's what's happened in society and that's why we have to be careful, we can't covet money, we can't covet things, we have to, in the right sense of the word, desire a relationship with God and Jesus Christ, that's paramount — "Seek you first the kingdom of God and His righteousness" — this is very important in our day and age today.
You know Israel, just to amplify a little bit, it was brought out in the sermonette, Israel's experience in the wilderness is a good example for all of us, it's all written, Romans:15:4, for our learning, something that you and I must understand and that was a nation that was promised a place that had everything you could imagine. It was a land flowing, as it said, with milk and honey. Very poetic terms to show, boy this is the good life, this is a real wonderful place compared to where you were. Well the kingdom of God is compared that way, where we are now is nothing compared to what God has in the future, in the kingdom of God. And that's what we have to keep our eyes on.
Now what happened is that their attitude changed, by the time, the wilderness had passed from the scene, that generation departed, then here comes the next group and they come into the land and what do they do? They send out some spies, Joshua sends out the spies to check it out and what happens? Only two come back with a good report and everybody else is negative and in so doing, they said, we can't go in there, these guys are giants and we're like nothing in front of them, they're just going to wipe us out. What are you talking about? Caleb hears that, Joshua, hey come on, we can just go in there and take it over, we have God on our side, He brought us out of Egypt, He can take us into the land. But no, they murmured and they remembered, oh yeah. Something changed — it was their attitude and that's what we have to guard against, that our attitude never changes in our relationship with God, that we guard that attitude because there are things constantly saying, well don't you remember the leeks and the onions and the melons and all those good things you had back when you were in bondage? Remember, there were some good things that we enjoyed doing in our sinful behavior, wasn't there? That's why we sin, sin has a pleasure for a season but what people forget is that when God forgives sin it doesn't mean consequences go away, that's why He says don't sin, because sometimes you set in motion certain things that come back to create great problems in your life later on. Human beings have done a lot of that down through time.
Happiness cannot be found when you are trying to avoid the rules and regulations of life, happiness cannot be found, you will never be happy by trying to avoid the rules and regulations of life. What do I mean? I mean God's law, His commandments, given because He's the great life giver, He knows how life has to be lived and He says that when you stray outside of that guideline of life you run into serious problems and that's the history of the scripture, that's where Adam went astray with mother Eve and all the rest of us have done the same. And God says, I give you little children; I give you the opportunity to have family of your own because that's what I'm rearing — family — but are you really looking, are you really learning from this experience? Well what am I suppose to learn Lord? Well, He says take a look at them, you ever notice these precious little kids? As they come on the scene, we're so enthralled with them, we're so happy and guess what- they want to run the show, they want to tell you as mom and dad what to do and they learn these interesting little words. Some of the first words they learn — no! No! And you say, come here sweetie, it's time to eat. No! Well come on, let's do this. No! They love that word no because that word no has great power behind it and it sets them off and lets them be free to do what they want to do.
And you learn that same lesson, that God said, look, you can have everything in the garden, just don't take that tree. We could translate that, No! (To Adam and Eve) And they stepped outside of the line, they went outside, temptation was there, the tree was inconsequential, you know, don't worry if it's an apple or plum or peach — couldn't be a peach because that's from Georgia you know! But seriously, looking at the equation, what God is telling us, can't you see in working with children, you are their guardians, you are in place of God, to help them, to train them, because they don't know, they don't have the ability to perceive properly, life. They think they can, can I do it, can I do it? They don't have the instruction, they don't have the training, now we hear these tragic stories of young boys and girls who because of puberty coming on younger and faster and with all the rotten influence going down, they're engaging in sexual relations between the sexes at 11, 12 and 13. Brethren, the mind of a young person at that age can't handle that, that's adult stuff, that's waiting for later when the mind of a man and a woman can deal with that the way God intended. Little children can't and now they're finding out that they're running around multiple partners, they're getting venereal disease.
If there's not a devil, boy I'll tell you, there's the fruit of the devil, he's destroying the next generation of young people coming up. And that's why parents have a tremendous job on their hands. But you know, a lot of times as children growing up, they have to learn through the bitter school of hard knocks. God said, no flesh would glory in His presence and we've all had to go through episodes in our own life, some more severe than others, but the lessons are there and what God is showing us is that you're never going to be happy if you think you can avoid My law. I have shown, God said, the great things of My law. And it was counted by Israel like it was nothing. He didn't give that law to any other nation on the face of the earth; He gave it the nation, His people called Israel. That's why God is still going to deal with Israel and when we know who Israel is in prophecy, we can understand what's going to happen based on what God speaks in the scriptures concerning His people Israel...we're not talking just the Jews in Palestine or in modern day Israel, there's more here than meets the eye and most people haven't got a clue on that. You and I have been blessed to see this and to show you how important rules are in governing life, and you can see it in everything you do, you can see what would happen if we took away all the traffic lights and let everybody just go at it out there! It would be chaos, chaos.
And what would happen with regard if we didn't have the instruction of God's word where He shows us who we really are. Greetings my fellow prodigal...prodigal sons and daughters, everyone of us, we're like the prodigal son and what did we do? We demanded certain things, we wanted certain things, he wanted the inheritance. The parable goes on and says he got it but when he got out, as we say, in the real world, he found out how good he had back there with dad at home. And the real world, its wonderful, I've got all these friends, eat drink and be merry, money disappears, all your friends disappear! As long as you're paying for the drinks and all the other stuff, you've got people slapping you on the back and telling you what a great guy you are. When you no longer can produce that, they're off and gone, they call them fair-weather friends. God fearing brothers and sisters in Christ have a deep affection and love for one another because we know why we're called at this time. And we know there's no other place to go, that we have to stay the course and follow the example that is given. Well the young fellow came to his senses and guess what he does? He comes back and he says, I'll be willing to slop the hogs if you just give me a chance, at least I can eat here. I was starving, I was having problems out there. You see people walk away sometimes from God's Church and they run into the same brick wall, they don't realize, they keep looking for something — that itch they can't scratch and they don't realize it's been here all the time, what they want is right here. But they haven't had eyes to see and so sometimes they have to go out there and learn it the hard way, to get their life back on track.
God gives us these guidelines for a very specific purpose; He wants us, again, to be happy. Never is there anything done by God to create havoc and upheaval in our life. He allows things like that to happen to people because people make decisions and those decisions are never very pleasant sometimes.
Let me share an example with you. Once I knew a young fellow, years ago in another area, that I was counseling with at that time and the parents were very distraught because their son, he was very cantankerous, he just would not follow his mom and dad's instruction, he just was upset all the time, "They're always telling me what to do, always telling me what to do." And he just kept feeding on that to such a degree that finally he just bolted when he got old enough and he was going to show them- he went out and joined the Marines. Now I call that poetic justice!! When you smack your parents down and you think you've had it tough, man I'm telling you, you'd be running like the prodigal son, "Dad, take me back home, these Marines, they're something else!" If you see what a Navy Seal has to go through to qualify, you'd realize, that's tough training. That's why Jesus, through the disciples, none of us, none of us have gone through what others have had to go through. We have been coddled, blessed and protected by the grace of God. When I had the opportunity to go to Europe over there, I got a great lesson and insight; it was really quite a thing. Lot of beautiful places over there. If you ever watch this TV special called Rick Steve's Europe, it's beautiful, shows you a lot of places to go. Now I can look and say, I've been there, I saw that, I was right there! He was just doing Hungary not too long ago and that's one of the places I had the opportunity to go and it was quite revealing.
But here's the difference, as beautiful as those areas are, and there's a lot of beautiful places on God's green earth, people live very tight by comparison, very constricted in Europe, they're very on top of one another. You know we sing songs like "Don't Fence Me In," American songs, we like space, don't violate my personal space. Barney, Charles Barney on Fox News, he gives an analysis and he's a European, he says, "Europeans can drive those small cars, not Americans, they need SUV's, they've got space." And that's exactly right!
But see, we're being brainwashed today folks, we're being told SUV's kill people, we're being told, watch out, the next gun you pass might jump off the table and shoot you and crazy things like that! What God is showing you is that we're being dumbed down — common sense, just using a little intelligence ought to tell us, hey, it's the person who goes haywire that creates the problem, it's not a thing that's wrong, it's how things are used. You can take a baseball bat and hit a home run or you can take a baseball bat and knock somebody's head off, the choice is yours. Everything is a choice and if God wants us to be happy, then He's saying, play ball, don't hit your neighbor over the head with a baseball bat! Because that's not going to do you any good, you're then arrested for murder. These are common sense things but today it's gotten out of hand. Lamentations:3:27 tells us:
Lam:3:27 — It is good for a man that he bears the yoke in his youth.
You have to learn how to live life and this is where again, life is a training ground, it's training us now not only for living in this world but in the world to come. Children have to learn how to serve, they have to learn how to share, they have to learn how to conquer and overcome problems and difficulties, like mom and dad did, it's part of every day learning. But today there are a lot of people who don't want to learn anymore and it is sad when you go to the book of Revelation and you see back there in the 9th chapter what is going to happen, verses 1-12. It tells of a time when human beings are going to go at each like you wouldn't believe and there's going to be bloodshed in the world like its never seen before. Now these are frightening times and God wants us to realize, you've got to dedicate yourself now with God to be happy. He wants you to be happy. The world is very sad and it's getting sadder by the passing of every day, you'll see the events that are happening as God pulls back His hand and His blessing and things are beginning to happen to His people Israel as never before. He told us that in Deuteronomy 28 and Leviticus 26, the blessing and cursing chapters, those are good to go over and review now at this time. But we're living in a time of transformation, there's no doubt about it and the thing that you have to ask yourself, as we come out of the Days of Unleavened Bread into, back into the world, heading now to Pentecost and the next major holy day, what in the world are we going to do? Where are we going to be standing when it's all said and done? As never before, God tell us, it is His desire for us to be happy, but He says, "Happy are you if you do these things" — these things —the things that He outlines for us, not listening to what other people say and what they say will do etc. because they're in the same boat that's got holes in it as well, it's called a lifeboat with sinful holes and everybody has got a lifeboat, their lifeboat is sinking. It's God who has to plug the holes, He's the one that has to bring us through.
I would just wrap this up with regard to this — today people are becoming more enslaved to drugs, alcohol, sex, all these terrible addictions that you hear about day in and day out, these terrible crimes going on in people's lives and you have to say, if they've got it, how come they're not happy? If they've got the answers to everything, how come they're not happy? Jesus said it plain and simple, "You will know it by their fruits." You will know the false prophets by their fruits and you will know the world is telling you wrong, they've been feeding you doctrines of leaven — political leaven and religious leaven and what is it producing? It's producing the terrible state of affairs that when Jesus comes back, if He did not come back, there would be no happiness at all, no future for anyone. But we have that wonderful promise, that God wants us not only to be happy, but He's made it possible for us to be happy, even with problems and difficulties. And how is that? Your embracing of Jesus Christ, His Son, that's the only thing God has given us that will provide what we look for, the happiness and joy. And we want to do what? Live life, pursuit of happiness, yes, that can happen and we can do it with the help of God.
True happiness will be found when Jesus Christ establishes the kingdom of God on this earth. The point we have to keep in mind, how much do we really want to be there? If we hunger and thirst for righteousness, if Jesus Christ is the key point, our focus and our attention, then all that He has said concerning the kingdom of God, He's going to make it happen and for this, you've got to know something — this is going to make Jesus Christ and God the Father very happy to see all their sons and daughters and brothers and sisters coming online. To God the Father, the Father of all spirits, we are the sons and daughters of God, to Jesus Christ our King; He is our elder brother leading the way. Do we want our names in the book of life? I think we do, but there are terrible forces at work right now to try to destroy the saints of God. God help us all to struggle, to fight, to overcome because it's well worth it and don't ever think, if it ever crosses your mind, that God's not happy with you. Not happy with you? If you're in Jesus Christ, He's very happy. When we step outside He becomes very unhappy. Let's not add unhappiness to our God and our Creator, let's make Him happy by telling Him how much we are happy for the kindness and the mercy He has shown to us all.