By Rick Warren, posted June 16, 2018, at: http://www.pastorrick.org
The Bible says in 1 Timothy 6:17 that God “richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment”(NIV). That’s the kind of God we serve. He gave us the world for our enjoyment! But here’s the problem: We’re so busy getting more that we don’t enjoy what we’ve got.
One of my favorite things to do is watch the sunrise from the slope in our yard. I put a deck chair out there almost 20 years ago. The chair was not expensive to start with, and now it is old. It’s faded, and a couple of its slats are broken. I love to sit in that ratty, old chair and watch the sun come up. It gives me great pleasure!
Would I have any more joy watching the sunrise if I were sitting in a diamond-encrusted Barcalounger instead of that ratty old chair? No. It would not increase my joy one bit. In fact, there is an advantage to not having a diamond-encrusted Barcalounger. It’s better to have a ratty chair on the slope. Why? Because nobody steals it!
You need to ask yourself, “What am I not enjoying right now?” Most of us get into what I call “when and then” thinking — “When this happens, then I’ll be happy.” “When I get a boyfriend, then I’ll be happy.” “When I get married, then I’ll be happy.” “When I have kids, then I’ll be happy.” “When my kids go off to school, then I’ll be happy.” “When I get married again, then I’ll be happy.”
You are as happy as you choose to be. Happiness is a choice! If you’re not happy now, you’re not going to be happy later.
I could take you to some of the worst places in the world and show you two people living right next door to each other. One is miserable, and one is happy. Why? Happiness has nothing to do with your circumstances. It has everything to do with your attitude. If you’re not happy living on what you’re living on right now, I can guarantee you that you’re not going to be happy with any more. Because you’re always going to want a little bit more.
Happiness is a choice. Choose to enjoy what God has given you right now for your enjoyment!
I Timothy 6:17 — Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.
Ecclesiastes 5:10-19 — Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This is meaningless. As goods increase, so those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owners except to feast their eyes on them? The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether they eat little or much; but as for the rich, their abundance permits them no sleep. I have seen a grievous evil under the sun: wealth hoarded to the harm of its owners, or wealth lost through some misfortune, so that when they have children there is nothing left for them to inherit. Everyone comes naked from their mother’s womb, and as everyone comes, so they depart. They take nothing from their toil that they can carry in their hands. This too is a grievous evil: As everyone comes, so they depart, and what do they gain, since they toil for the wind? All their days they eat in darkness, with great frustration, affliction and anger. This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot. Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God.
Philippians 4:11b — I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
I Timothy 6:6-12a — Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness,faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called.
Hebrews 13:5-6 — Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”
Two things I ask of you, Lord;
do not refuse me before I die:
Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.
Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God.