God Won't Let Sin Make Us Happy
"The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish." (Proverbs 10:28)
Jamie and Uncle Mike climbed into the big red Ford F150. The tackleboxes were between them on the seat. As Uncle Mike drove them to the lot on the lake where their favorite fishing alcove was, Jamie opened up one of the tackleboxes to take a look at the lures. There were all kinds, some of them knobby or slimy, some feathery, some glossy. And all of them were colorful! Jamie especially liked the brand new jitterbugs Uncle Mike had bought down in Florida last month. As the truck rumbled to a stop in the gravel by the boat ramp, Jamie had a bright idea. While Uncle Mike got busy cranking down the fishing boat, Jamie got busy picking out the fanciest, smoothest, reddest (because red was his favorite color) jitterbug for himself. Without a sound, Jamie shoved the lure in his jeans pocket and went out to help Uncle Mike put the gear in the boat.
All morning, they shared the tackle, and Uncle Mike never seemed to realize that the red jitterbug was gone from the box. They caught a couple white bass but threw them back in the lake before heading back to Uncle Mike's cabin for lunch. They were laughing about something as they jumped back into the truck, and Jamie sat down hard. Every fish in the lake and every bird in the sky probably heard the scream that came out of Jamie's mouth a second later. His fingers got all bloody as he pulled and tore at his pants pocket to get the hooks of the stolen red jitterbug out. Instead of going to lunch, they had to get Jamie to the hospital for a tetanus shot and for a couple of stitches where he had sat down on the lure.
Sometimes sin seems so harmless and inviting. We go after things we want, in spite of warnings and danger. We fall for temptations, just like unsuspecting fish that go hungrily after bait, even though the bait hides a hook. Jamie was tempted to steal Uncle Mike's red jitterbug lure because it was shiny and colorful and something he wanted to have just for himself. Was it worth it in the end, though? Jamie's plan brought him a lot more hurt than happiness. Not only did he suffer physical pain and a lot of embarrassment, but his actions also disappointed his Uncle Mike and spoiled the whole fishing trip.
Jamie had high hopes of being the owner of a glossy red jitterbug without paying for it. But he didn't get away with it. The Bible teaches that God is holy. Not only is it right to obey His Law, but it is also better for us! God is the only Source of true, lasting joy. In His grace, He teaches us (sometimes painfully) that nothing else, especially not sin, can satisfy us. Our hopes and expectations should be in Him.
Only God can satisfy the desires of our hearts.
» Have I been fooling myself that something or someone can make me happier than being right with God?
» Why does sin sometimes "look good" to me?
» How can remembering that my hope is in God help me as I fight against temptations to sin?
Truth In Real Life
“There are two things about the Gospel – believe it and behave it.”
Susanna Annesley Wesley was born in London on January 20, 1669, as a pastor’s daughter and as the youngest of 25 children. Her experiences growing up, then, prepared her both for life as a pastor’s wife and life as a mother. Susanna was homeschooled and was often taught by friends of her well-respected father.
One of these young tutors was Samuel Wesley. When Susanna was 20 years old, she and Samuel got married. When Samuel Wesley became a preacher, Susanna entered the ministry with him, excited about the things of God. Life in the ministry, however, was harder than Susanna expected. Deism – a religious system which denies that Jesus Christ is God alone – was popular, and made it difficult for the Wesleys to teach the Gospel of the Bible.
Despite their hardships, Susanna lived for Christ. She gave birth to 19 children during her lifetime, although only nine of them lived to be adults. Two of her children, John and Charles, would grow up to be famous preachers and writers. Her influence in their lives was important!
Susanna’s place in Christian history is marked by two choices she made: First of all, she determined to have time alone with God every day. When she wanted to pray, she would take her apron and pull it over her face and her children knew that she was not to be disturbed.
Second, Susanna determined that she wanted God to use her, no matter how large or small the task. She often said, “I am content to fill a little space if God be glorified.”
She once wrote this about how important she had come to believe that her time with God ought to be:
I will tell you what rule I observed when I was young and too much addicted to childish diversions – never to spend more time in mere recreation in one day than I spent in private religious devotions.
Do you spend as much time with God as you should? How devoted are you to entertainment and recreation? Do these things help to shape you into a Gospel-living person that God will use to glorify Himself? Are you believing and behaving the Gospel in your everyday life?
Psalm 119:11 – Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.