The Bible plainly tells us that:
- We will be tested and tried.
- There will be times of struggle, challenge, and difficulty when we must prove our loyalty, devotion, faith, and trust in the Lord.
- There is an element of burden and work in our Christian walk with the Lord.
- There are rare individuals (like the Prophet Jeremiah and John the Baptist) who are called into a ministry of ongoing leanness and/or suffering.
But, the message the Bible emphasizes over and over from front to back…is that it is God’s will for His people to predominately enjoy a blessed, happy, peaceful, joyous, successful, and prosperous life: what we can call “the good life“.
So, let’s have a Biblical look at living “the good life” that God wills for us.
Psalms Chapter 29
11 The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.
You must be one of God’s people IF you want His strength, peace, and blessings. God must know you…you must know God…you and God must be in a relationship together through Jesus Christ…if you want God’s blessings.
Psalms Chapter 30
4 Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.
5 For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
Hidden away within these scriptures is one of the great secrets of living life as a Christian. When we live our life according to the principles and commandments given to us across the entirety of the Bible, we garner the favor of the Lord…and when the Lord favors us, He blesses us with the good life.
Psalms Chapter 16
11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
God WILL reveal to us the good path in life…the way of life that is good, wholesome, healthy, blessed, and prosperous…and all we have to do to get access to the goodness and fullness of life that God has for us is to read our Bible and follow the precepts that it reveals to us across its entirety.
Now, let’s go to this: where is joy found at?
It is found in the presence of the Lord!
So, IF there isn’t much joy in my life, then I am not doing a good enough job of dwelling in the presence of the Lord.
Now, I may actually go to church…or to a private place of prayer…but if all I do is dwell upon my fears, doubts, or problems, then I am NOT dwelling in the presence of the Lord!
In other words, I can “ceremonially” or “figuratively” come before the Lord…and mentally and emotionally still be a million miles away from Him. So, we must understand that ceremony or figurative does NOT get the job done.
Colossians Chapter 3
1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
The reason so many people do not have the favor of God in their life…and they therefore do not have the peace, joy, and blessings of the Lord in their life…is because there is not enough of God in their interests and affections.
If I cut God out of my interests and affections, then I can count on God cutting me off from His blessings.
Psalms Chapter 28
5 Because they regard not the works of the LORD, nor the operation of his hands, he shall destroy them, and not build them up.
Do I want to be destroyed?
Do I want my life to not work very well for me?
Do I want to block myself from the good life?
If yes, then all I have to do is not regard the Lord.
This is the state of countless people…their life is dissatisfying, unfulfilled, and miserable…all because they have no time or regard for the Lord.
The point is, we either harmonize with God’s laws, works, and precepts, or we get to suffer the consequences of NOT being in God’s favor.
2 Peter Chapter 1
2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
We want grace to cover us…do we not? We want peace in our life…do we not?
Well, the way we get these things is by increasing and enhancing our knowledge of God.
With just a little bit of observation, one can easily see that people who know just a little bit about God have far less peace in their life than do those people who have diligently sought and developed a deep relationship with God?
To elaborate on that, if you have ever spent any time with a person who “ceremonially” gets saved…who “ceremonially” makes a confession of being a Christian…but they never really go any farther or deeper in the Lord than that…then you have probably noticed that they generally lack contentment, satisfaction, and fulfillment in life. Consequently, they frequently bury their self in external activities…in an effort to fill the void they feel internally…to the point these external activities become pretty much the entirety of their life.
In contrast, those who continue to progress in their relationship with the Lord tend to enjoy significant contentment, satisfaction, and fulfillment in life.
The point is, the more you know about the Lord…and the more you relate to the Lord, the greater your happiness, satisfaction, fulfillment, and meaning in life will be.
John Chapter 6
33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.
It is only through Jesus that we are able to receive true life…the good life…both spiritually and naturally.
However, just because God has given something to us…that is, just because God has made something available to us…does not mean that we have actually received it.
It is God’s part to OFFER His good life unto us…but it is OUR part to do what is required of us to actually RECEIVE His good life!
Psalms Chapter 27
1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
The closer I draw to the Lord, the greater my strength will be. So, if I find myself lacking strength, then I need to draw closer to the Lord.
Deuteronomy Chapter 4
39 Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the LORD he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else.
40 Thou shalt keep therefore his statutes, and his commandments, which I command thee this day, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days upon the earth, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, for ever.
Deuteronomy Chapter 30
19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
20 That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.
Notice that the scope is bigger than just our own self. The way we live our life not only affect us personally…but it also affects and impacts our children.
So, not only can we block our self from the good life…we can also hinder or block our children from enjoying the good life too.
Now, let’s go to this: there are conditions and requirements that we each are individually responsible for satisfying in order to have access to the good life. In the preceding scriptures, some of these conditions and requirements are spelled out for us:
1. Love the LORD thy God. When a person genuinely and sincerely does just this one thing, it will immediately chart their course of life on a better and upward trajectory.
2. Obey his voice. God’s way is the good way…and so for our own sake…for our own well-being, God directs us to obey His commandments.
3. Cleave unto him. God will not bless us with goodness if we treat Him like a spare tire that we pull out when things go flat in our life. We will block our own self from the good life…and in fact, we set our self up for destruction…if we treat God like a “genie in the sky” who we mostly disregard…except for when we are in trouble and need help…at which point we call out to our “genie” for magical assistance, protection, deliverance, or provision. The fact is, God expects us to be in a relationship with Him that is current and up-to-date day in and day out.
Now, let’s look at another set of conditions and requirements that we are personally responsible for…that we are individually REQUIRED to obey and satisfy: wisdom, instruction, and knowledge.
Ecclesiastes Chapter 7
12 For wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.
Inside this verse is one of the great secrets to success in our natural life: the wiser we are, the better our life will be!
If we wish to enjoy the good life, then WISDOM is REQUIRED!
Bluntly, the main reason so many people stay stuck in a life of non-success is because they persistently fail to use wisdom in their choices and actions.
Now, it MIGHT be possible for me to be a saved Christian…but if the only thing I ever eat is donuts and candy bars…if the only thing I ever drink is soda pop…or, if I eat like a glutton day in and day out…then pretty soon my life is NOT going to be good…because my physical body will not be good.
Similarly, if I foolishly waste all the money that comes into my possession on lottery tickets…or shallow entertainment…or frivolous things…well, soon enough, I am NOT going to be enjoying the good life…because my financial situation will not be good.
The point is, in order for me to enjoy the good life that God intended for me to enjoy, I MUST exercise wisdom in EVERYTHING that I do in EVERY area and aspect of my life. I MUST be WISE / SMART / INTELLIGENT in what I do and do not do.
Now, what is wisdom? It can be boiled down to following, obeying, and honoring the principles that God has laid out for us in the Bible.
When a person obeys God’s principles that are spelled out across the entirety of the Bible, there are things they will do…and things they will NOT do…all of which puts that person into the good life.
For example, in following Biblical principles, we will be a diligent learner and worker who exercises discretion in every aspect of our life.
As another example, we will move towards people and activities that are clean, good, and wholesome…and avoid people and activities that are sinful, carnal, or destructive.
Just these two items alone can revolutionize a person’s life for the better…and these are just the start of what the Bible reveals to us.
Let’s take a closer look at what a Christian will do…and not do:
Proverbs Chapter 6
23 For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:
Proverbs Chapter 2
10 When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul;
11 Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:
Proverbs Chapter 4
13 Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.
14 Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.
15 Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.
20 My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.
21 Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.
22 For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.
23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
The question is: Am I obtaining and holding instruction…and honoring that instruction by using it wisely?
Well, the quality of my life answers that question!
There are some people who graduate from high school…and then vow to never crack another book open…or to ever study again…and any person who is foolish enough to have this mindset WILL suffer…they will NOT get to enjoy the good life.
Ephesians Chapter 5
15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
Once again, we are given the message that wisdom is REQUIRED if we want to enjoy the good life!
Now, take note of this…
Psalms Chapter 31
10 For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed.
Iniquity causes a loss of strength!
In other words, when we fail to obey and honor the principles that God lays out plainly and directly for us across the entirety of the Bible…when we disregard God…when we do not maintain a relationship with God through Jesus Christ…when we are unwise…when we choose not to learn…when we do not work…when we are not diligent and disciplined…and so on…then our strength…our goodness…our success…WILL fail.
In conclusion, when we live our life as a wise Christian, we cannot help but put our self into “the good life”…a life of peace, joy, happiness, satisfaction, fulfillment, meaning, well-being, success, prosperity, and so on.
Following are some additional scriptures that one can consider…
Psalms Chapter 66
8 O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard:
9 Which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved.
Proverbs Chapter 15
24 The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath.
2 Corinthians Chapter 3
6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
Deuteronomy Chapter 5
16 Honour thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
Job Chapter 33
4 The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.
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