Can we agree that we’re all pursuing strategies to finally find durable peace and joy? If that’s agreed, note the following thought: Works (achieving things or trying to) will never lead to lasting peace/joy. Whether it’s works of ministry, commerce, murder or anything else, these can only bring fleeting peace/joy. And works (as a strategy for achieving peace and joy) exact a terrible price from the worker. You can not find lasting peace/joy from being a good husband, being a good dad, succeeding in your career, helping lots of people in need, giving away money, drinking alcohol or taking drugs, making friends, being educated, being trim and physically fit, excelling socially, taking revenge, washing your car or cleaning your house, keeping up with your work and responsibilities, getting some new clothes, having the right spouse/partner or any similar thing. You can only find lasting peace and joy by believing the Truth. Now, at this point, you should be quite skeptical. But, suspend your judgement. Let’s continue with this line of thinking. I’m proposing that God has set things up this way: (1) There is Truth but it’s pretty OPPOSITE of what we humans would think it would be. (2) The Truth about everything is such GREAT NEWS that if we ever believe it, then we experience major peace/joy. (3) It’s believing this Truth that leads to lasting peace/joy.
ADMIT IT!!! If you are one of the “responsible types” who gets up every day and tries to do the right thing, tell me you haven’t noticed that no matter how hard you try, you just end up not getting around to cover all the bases, you leave some things undone, you get criticized for some of what you’ve done, you aren’t appreciated for other things you’ve done, you go to bed at night building a list for what you can DO the next day to continue your frustrating attempt to find peace/joy through your works. I hope you understand that “works” as I am using it, means anything/everything we do to try to accomplish peace/joy through our own efforts. It could be by DOING something (like treating your wife well) or NOT DOING something (like NOT looking at sexy movies because it disturbs your wife). You find it frustrating that all this hard work virtually every day doesn’t seem to add up to durable peace/joy.