September 19, 2021
“Come unto me, all ye that labor 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. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
There is a list of things that every person in the world would to have, from the richest of the rich to the lowest of the low, every individual seeks after something on this list in order to gain that one something that the other things will bring to them.
They seek after Love, pleasure, money, power, understanding, material goods, a big family, a small family, any family, the list is almost endless.
But regardless of that thing that is on their list that they are seeking after it all leads to the one thing that ultimately, they all seek and that is happiness.
I bet that happiness is probably #1 on everyone’s list because the examples that I just gave all supposedly lead to that one thing, happiness.
We all seek happiness because we believe that if we are happy then life is fulfilling, if we are happy than everything is right in the world. We measure the success of our life by how happy we are and we tell ourselves if we are happy then we are content with life.
We think that if we are happy than we can be more successful that we will have a “positive attitude” and having a positive attitude will make things happen in life, that will in return bring us more happiness.
But the truth is happiness isn’t a “cure all” it doesn’t cause wealth you can’t say “I’m happy today and because I’m happy and have a positive attitude I think I will open my wallet and make a $100 dollar bill appear, happiness doesn’t cause love you can’t make someone love you because you’re happy, you can’t just walk up to that pretty girl or handsome guy at the register and smile like an idiot and make them fall in love with you, they may actually end up pepper spraying you or calling security because you scared them but they won’t love you.
Happiness can’t give you power, no one ever became a CEO of a fortune 500 company because they were happy, you can’t buy a house with happiness, you can’t create a family from happiness, on the contrary all of these things are root causes of happiness not the other way around.
So, when you get down to the very truth of the matter, I believe that most people in this world want just one thing in their life whether they realize it or not and that is peace.
The trouble is, is that most people don’t realize that its peace that they desire. They may argue with you that that’s not at all what they want that they would rather have money because with money they can buy happiness and therefore they will have peace, some may say what they want more than peace is to be loved, that even though they may argue every now and then with the one they love that they would still be happy, those who want power would say that if they had power they could manipulate their surroundings in such a way that they could have all the peace that they could ever want.
Yet how many people with loved ones in their lives lose their peace and their happiness when something happens to the one they love, how many people are in this world love someone who has only broken their hearts, how many people are in this world who are rich are still miserable because even though they may have money and material possessions they still feel that something is missing in their life, how many people with all their possessions live in fear of losing all they have, how many people with power are haunted by the idea of losing their power and therefore losing their happiness?
Every one of us here seeks that which will make us happy, it’s our nature to want to be “happy” but have you ever really thought about the emotion called “happiness” have you ever come to the understanding that there is something to that saying “Happiness is elusive”?
And if you think about it, don’t we even measure God by how happy we are? If we’re not happy than God doesn’t love us, if we’re not happy than God doesn’t really care about us, and if we are really unhappy maybe God doesn’t exist at all.
Happiness is elusive because that which makes us happy today will not make us happy tomorrow, the person who we depend on to make us happy will ultimately fail us in some way, the possessions we have will grow old and boring. A rising stock market will someday fall, everything in this world can be taken away from us and therefore our happiness is as secure as an ice cube in the desert.
You see the world has it wrong, happiness is not a cause it’s an effect, in other words, happiness cannot exist by itself it, happiness is dependent on something else to make it exist. That’s why different people are made happy by different things. Yet we all chase the ripples and not the cause of the ripples, we mistakenly believe that happiness is a thing of value, we are like a snake eating its tail, we want things because we desire happiness and happiness therefore is dependent on the things we seek.
Shouldn’t we instead be seeking after something that can never be taken from us, shouldn’t we be searching and desiring that which is not dependent on something fleeting?
We the people in this fallen world have been sold a bill of goods that is counterfeit, its fool’s gold, we are chasing after smoke and we set our sights on cut glass and not diamonds.
That is why there are so many people in this world, who are heartbroken, miserable, angry, and lost; it is the reason so many people turn to drugs and alcohol, and any other vice that gives them that illusion of happiness or peace, it’s the reason why we are happy and content today but not tomorrow, the world has so much sparkly things to offer but nothing that it offers will fit into that empty slot that we keep ignoring, that spot in our heart set aside for only the peace that can come from God.
You see everyone in this world labors in some form or fashion, everyone in this world is heavy laden because we all carry the cares of this world on our shoulders, we struggle to gain that which we don’t possess and we struggle to keep that which we already possess, we have troubles in our families, at work, with our health, we carry fear and worry in our hearts, and it wears us down and robs us of our peace and makes us so tired that all we want is a break, all we want is just a moment of peace free from the cares of the world, even Psalm 23 speaks of that peace when it says “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.”
See even three thousand years ago even King David was seeking peace.
That is why I said what we really should be seeking after is not happiness but peace. Because with peace comes everything else, and I’m not talking about the snake oil that the world sells us as peace, I’m talking about only the type of Peace the creator of all that is seen and unseen has to offer.
Peace is the rock that causes the ripple in the water; peace is the sun that makes the light possible, the peace that God gives exist when all else fails you.
In Acts 16:25 Paul was in prison with Silas they had been beaten and thrown into the stocks and the bible says “25About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.”About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listenin
Here they were beaten and in jail and they were still happy, they had no power, they had no material things, they had nothing tangible that could make them praise God yet they were, so where did that praise come from?
I will bet you everyone else in that prison was scared and miserable and here these two were singing hymns and praying. It says that the others were listening to them, at Midnight, they weren’t yelling at them to shut up and go to sleep, they weren’t cussing at them to be quiet, it says they were listening to them, why?
Maybe they were listening to them because even they found a moment’s peace just by listening to the praises of God.
How is that possible?
How is it that mere words can bring someone peace, words that aren’t even spoken by their mouths but by someone else’s, maybe it’s not the words but the power behind the words.
Many people who at first accept Christ only to reject Him later do so because they started following believing that by being a Christian it would make them happy, that all of their troubles would go away or at least the real bad trouble they had, they are the seed that Christ spoke of in his parable that has fallen in the thorns that sprouted up but were choked out by the world..
Yet we as Christians should know that is not the case, we know because Jesus told us that we too, like him, would be hated and persecuted, and that there would be trials and tribulation, yet we follow anyway. Why?
Because we know that only God, through Christ, offers us the peace that makes this life tolerable. When those trials and tribulations come, and we have the peace of God it produces a happiness that cannot be taken from us, even in our sorrow there is joy.
3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Jesus said in the opening scripture, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” if you are Christian and not at peace than maybe you haven’t fully committed to following Jesus, maybe you have stopped at that point where you have come to Jesus but have failed on some level to follow through because your still unsure, and if that’s you, take to heart the words that Christ spoke and follow through with because you can bet that his words are true….
“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. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Have you not only come to Jesus but you have listened to his teachings and are following them, have you learned why it is not this world we seek after but the next and do you know why his yoke is easy and his burden light?
If the we truly follow Christ than illness won’t drive your peace from you, if you truly take on his yoke than trouble in your family won’t take your peace from you, nor will any other thing that this fallen world throws at you.
It is possible to have peace and joy when you receive the worst the world has to offer, IF you follow a savior to the end where this world ends and eternity starts.
There is so much God wants you to hear so that you can find the peace that He has to offer.
That is why we preach the Gospel from the pulpit, that is why we preach the importance of fellowshipping with each other and the importance of attending church and going to Sunday school, because the world won’t tell you about Jesus and the peace He offers, the world won’t show you the way to a peace that will stand even when everything else falls.
We fellowship because we hold each other up, we attend church and Sunday school so we can be taught and reminded of who it is we follow, that is why no matter what is going on in your life and no matter if you think you have a good voice or not, we sing hymns and pray, not just for ourselves but for the others who are in this prison with us, to give them hope, to show them what true peace is like and therefore what a happiness that cannot be extinguished looks like.
A Christian should never be miserable, a Christian should never be unhappy even in our mourning and our grief because we have a God and a savior who in spite of what the world says, cares for us and loves us.
God IS in control; He is the master of all things and if we follow Jesus and accept his yoke than we are in God’s hands and if we cannot find peace and happiness in God’s hands than we will never find peace and happiness.