HOW TO ENJOY THINGS MORE

In Eyes Wide Open, Steve DeWitt reveals some wonderful truths, “Christians who properly place God as the source and goal of the things they enjoy will find themselves enjoying those things even more. In truth, the way we as believers relish created beauties ought to outstrip that of unbelievers, since we neither find our identity in them nor hold on to them as ultimate.”

Secondary happiness, which is found in something or someone God has created, ultimately leads back to Him. The secondary only fulfills its purpose when people follow it to the primary.

Robert Crofts wrote, “Let these earthly pleasures and felicities excite and encourage us to thankfulness, to all duties of virtue and piety, to look higher to their fountain, to God himself, to heaven, to love and enjoy in Him, to contemplate His infinite goodness, love, beauty, sweetness, glory, and excellency.”

Paul said, “What is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy” 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20

Paul understood that God is our primary joy. It’s fine for us to say that our children, our grandchildren, and our friends are joys if we remember that God made them and works through them to bring us happiness. They’re not lesser joys, but greater ones—precisely because we know whom these gifts come from! Then we will be able to say as Paul did:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus…I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:4-7, 11-13

The Bible teaches absolute truth. Success and a productive life come from embracing the following Biblical principles:

1. Truth exists and is knowable.

2. Truth upheld brings blessings.

3. Truth disregarded brings consequences, usually bad.

Embracing a biblically informed worldview of “truth” brings “joy unspeakable” (1 Peter 1:8) and “abundant life” (John 10:10) as Jesus promised to obedient followers.

CONTROLLING OUR THOUGHTS

Since we cannot bear righteous fruit without God’s Spirit, how can we take captive thoughts that are unwholesome?

The Apostle Paul said “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” 2 Corinthians10:5. So how do we demolish such thoughts when they enter our minds? Again, without God’s Spirit, we have no hope of reforming our own thoughts.

Paul said that “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” 2 Corinthians 4:4

So, until we’re set free from the clutch of Satan and his minions, we remain blind, even though we think we can see. Only by trusting in Christ and receiving the Holy Spirit do we have the power to resist the Devil, and only then will he flee from us. David had a way of resisting evil thoughts and then having those thoughts bear sin. He wrote:

I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11

Along with the Spirit of God, we have the Word of God to help us avoid such evil thoughts, and only then are we able to “not sin against” God.