It has been said that the best cure for hedonism is an attempt to practice it.
If you chase after pleasure, you will eventually come to the same conclusion as King Solomon: “I said to myself, ‘Come on, let’s try pleasure. Let’s look for the “good things” in life.’ But I found that this, too, was meaningless. So, I said, ‘Laughter is silly. What good does it do to seek pleasure?’” (Ecclesiastes 2:1–2 NLT).
The Bible tells us that if the driving desire of our lives is to please ourselves, that very quest will be the source of endless problems and heartaches. “What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous for what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it” (James 4:1–2 NLT).
The people who chase after pleasure never really experience it. It comes down to this: If you live for yourself and your own happiness and pleasure, then you will be a miserable person. It’s ironic that the people who live for happiness never find it, while the people who live for God find happiness as a byproduct. The people who chase after pleasure never really experience it. They may find little bits here and there, but nothing to speak of—certainly nothing enduring. Yet the people who live for God experience the ultimate pleasure: a joy that bubbles up from deep down in the inmost being.
Pleasure isn’t, in itself, a bad thing, although you might get that impression from some Christians. I think the Christian life is the most pleasurable life around. Why? Because God is the Creator of light and laughter and joy . . . beginning here and now and stretching on into eternity. The Bible teaches, “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand” (Psalm 16:11 NIV).
Cheap thrills are a dime a dozen. True and lasting happiness comes from the hand of God.
Out of their long and painful journey has come a really helpful survival guide, so to speak. It’s a book called Suffer Strong: How to Survive Anything by Redefining Everything. It’s not just an inspiring story of triumph through trials but a how-to book for accepting God’s plan and recognizing His providence even when it feels like your world is shattered.