Happiness Is Not Pleasure And Pleasure Is Not Happiness

June 17

"You who love the Lord, hate evil!"
Psalm 97:10

It might be a surprise to some that the word "hate" is something we are commanded to do. It's very important though, to understand HOW we are to hate. Simply put, we are to hate evil. Many do not understand how evil evil is. Evil is the opposite of all that God is. Evil is sin and we are to hate, to abhor, to flee from sin -because sin is a destroyer. That bears repeating: sin is a destroyer. When it manages to ensnare a person, its object is to destroy that person. Some people toy with evil. They think dabbling in it "a little" is not so bad. Oh how they do not understand. There is nothing in any sin however "small," that has any other object than to destroy the human being.

"But each one is tempted when he is DRAWN away
by his own desires and ENTICED.
Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin,
and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death."
James 1:15

There is no happiness in sin. Sin provides pleasure by its very nature - otherwise no one would sin, would they? Satan presents sin to a person as pleasure, and very few can resist pleasure - until they understand that that pleasure is fleeting, and it can never bring true happiness. Happiness is not pleasure, and pleasure is not happiness.

When a person is overcome with sin, the lack of happiness in it will slowly dawn on him, and he may begin to realize he has been duped. In the state of destruction, that's when a person may call upon the Lord. When a man realizes he's been destroyed, then perhaps he will turn to the God of salvation. And one of the first things he will learn from God is that the fear of the Lord is what will lead him to the happiness he sought in the wrong places.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding;
for by me your days will be multiplied,
and years of life will be added to you.
Proverbs 9:10-11

And he will learn that there is only one thing in life that he is to hate -and that is to hate evil.

"The fear of the Lord is to hate evil;"
Proverbs 8:13

Once he understands that, the Lord will begin transforming him and in that transformation he will come into a true happiness he never knew before. One who has been deep into evil and comes to experience the joy of goodness, his heart will swell in praise to God for the transformation within which brings "joy unspeakable and full of glory."

He who has been forgiven much -loves much!