Do You Really Believe Money Will Buy You Happiness?

The world is looking for happiness in the wrong places.

The entire world is looking for joy and happiness in their lives as defined in Webster’s dictionary.  It is described as an emotional feeling of having good things, living a delightful life and generally having a feeling of gladness.  It may be a state of bliss or continuous enjoyment.  Many come to Las Vegas looking for that kind of joy, happiness, pleasure and a jackpot.  How many find it and how long did it last?

James 1:2 – 4 – “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Do you know anyone who is “not” looking for joy and happiness in their lives?  I suppose if they are human they are.  How many do you know that have found lasting happiness?  Happiness and pleasure is usually a temporary state that we receive from favorable external sources.  When these external circumstances become unfavorable we often find ourselves unhappy.

I recently watched a program on TV that showed a number of couples who had won a huge lottery of millions.  A few years later it showed some having divorced and others being very unhappy with life.  There was such happiness when they won but it didn’t last for very long.  External situations change so often.  Happiness can fade rather rapidly.  Many times the unhappiest people are those seemingly having had everything that most of us only dream of having.

I think we were created with a desire to seek joy and happiness.  The Bible tells us there is only one way that we will ever become truly joyful and happy. It is when we put our total trust in Jesus Christ and live according to His principles.  Satan has deceived us into believing that joy only comes from living the ways of the world.  Scripture tells us it is unreasonable to think we will always be confronted with pleasant circumstances.  But it isn’t unreasonable to expect and to always have joy.  There is joy that comes from the Holy Spirit.  It is a joy that is continuous and is experienced even going through difficult times.  This is an inner spiritual joy that comes only from God.

Show me a Christian who has been given the “fruit of the Spirit” as described in Galatians 5:22 – 23 and you will see a person who is full of Christ, who is non-divisive and lives with a positive attitude.  They have the heart of a servant.  The Apostle Paul says it was this inner joy that encouraged him during his time of imprisonment and his many trials.

I Timothy 6:9 – 11 – “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.”

Since 1987 I have been an investment advisor.  I have met with hundreds of people and have seen all sorts of financial situations. When it comes to money problems it makes little difference whether a person is a Christ follower or an unbeliever.  Statistics state that 35% of the adult population in America has very little or no savings.

It saddens me to see those 55 and older who have been Christians for years, having done very little in planning for their financial future.  It’s as if they do not understand the principles that the Bible teaches about being good stewards.  Instant gratification and spending on material things that are not needed is a mistake.  Or as one client told me he needed a $60,000 car, who could not afford it.  I asked him why and he said it was more comfortable to drive.

Failing to establish a monthly financial plan that prepares for emergencies and their family’s future leaves many Christians without a safety net.  If you have the belief that you do not have to worry because God or the government will meet all of your needs; again, read Matthew 25:14 – 28 concerning the parable of the talents.  God was angry with the lazy servant unwilling to improve himself financially.

We have a number of average earning couples who have saved small amounts each month over the years.  Today they are in better shape than many of our clients who make two to three times as much and rarely invest. Who do you believe God is most pleased with?  Was it those who lived as the world lives or those who have followed Biblical principles as the parable suggests and had a financial plan?

Over the years we have learned from others that it isn’t how much one makes but how one lives their lives and the amount they spend.  This determines whether they become financially independent.  We have witnessed those living according to God’s plan have prepared adequately.  Those Christians who live as the world lives are often in the 35% category having little or no savings and are now approaching retirement.

The moral of this story is: Do not let Satan, the great deceiver, influence how you live!  Don’t get sucked into the world’s ways and instant gratification.

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