Can you buy happiness? Yes, at least according to one Nobel prize winning economist. He reports that as one’s income increases, so does the level of “life satisfaction,” up to an income of $75,000 per year. It doesn’t take much thought, however, to recognize that money is a very flimsy, superficial basis for happiness. With enough money a person can indulge in all kinds of luxuries and enjoy a life of leisure, but that doesn’t ensure lasting happiness. Solomon discovered that for himself. “I denied myself nothing my eyes desired…Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun” (Eccl. 1:10ff.).
Real, lasting, deep-down happiness does come at a cost, but not to us. All the money, possessions, life experiences, and efforts of humankind cannot buy it. Isaiah puts it very bluntly: “The wicked are like the tossing sea, which cannot rest, whose waves cast up mire and mud. ‘There is no peace,’ says my God, ‘for the wicked’” (Is. 57:20-21). Apart from peace with God true happiness is impossible. The guilt and penalty of sin stand in the way. We know what that’s like. Can you remember a time when you couldn’t really enjoy a meal, a birthday party, a good day at work, or time with friends because of a guilty conscience for a lie you told, a hurt you caused, or a job left undone?
All the money in the world cannot pay for a single sin. The cost is too horrific. But the price has been paid in full in our behalf. “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us” (Gal. 3:13). Jesus suffered the penalty of death and hell for us all. The debt is paid, the condemnation lifted! All is well. We have peace with God. What could be better?
Free salvation in Jesus is the source of true happiness, a joy which nothing can spoil. Let that joy fill your day with light, meaning, and purpose.
Yours in Christ,
Services tomorrow are at 8:00 and 10:45 a.m. The Lord’s Supper will be celebrated at both services. Sunday school is at 9:30 and Bible class at 9:45 a.m.