It seems that we are always, constantly seeking pleasure. We are seeking to be delighted and satisfied through pleasure—whether it is the pleasure of good, tasty food, the delights of the eye as we look at beauty, or maybe it is the pleasure of sex.
And to be sure, God has created us as pleasure seekers and to enjoy pleasure; and He has created all things for us to enjoy and to get pleasure from. Indeed, God wants us to be happy in life and to enjoy all He gives us: to enjoy our work, our possessions, our marriage, and our life. Look at these verses from Ecclesiastes.
So I saw that there is nothing better for a man than to enjoy his work… (Eccl. 3:22).
Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work — this is a gift of God (Eccl. 5:19).
Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love… (Eccl. 9:9).
However many years a man may live, let him enjoy them all (Eccl. 11:8).
These things—and really all things—are given to us to enjoy and to have pleasure in…
But all these things He gives us have their boundaries, which are designed to protect us. And when we go outside of these boundaries, the pleasures we seek and try to enjoy turn rotten.
For example, if we seek sexual pleasure outside of our marriage, this is forbidden; and so, though we will find immediate pleasure, it will turn rotten and be a source of guilt; and it will ruin our relationship with God, and with our spouse.
Similarly, if we seek to enjoy the physical beauty of another outside of our marriage—in the form of pornography—this may give us immediate pleasure, but it will soon turn sour and will ruin our life.
The pleasure that food gives can also be a problem. Overeating can be a big problem. And there are many other things we could mention.
But there is a solution…
When we find ourselves seeking forbidden pleasures, know that there are better pleasures that will never go sour and that will always satisfy. Doesn’t that sound good? David shows us the way in Psalm 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. (KJV)
So how do we get there? How do we find this path of life, where there are pleasures forever?
BETTER PLEASURES NOW
Better pleasures begin now by enjoying the things He gives us within His boundaries. We can enjoy our work, our possessions, our wife or husband, all of nature, and all of life if we stay within the boundaries He sets up for us—because within His boundaries is His very presence, hence, where there is fullness of joy and great pleasures. But when we get rebellious and want more, and go beyond the boundaries, His presence cannot be found anymore, and the pleasures we seek will never satisfy.
BETTER PLEASURES FOREVER
Better pleasures, the pleasures of His presence, will go to another level when our bodies are redeemed and we are glorified; for we will experience then the fullness of God; and all that we experience will be beyond our present comprehension (Eph. 3:19-20).
Personally, I find it helpful to just sit and imagine all the joy and all the pleasure He want to give me now and in the future. And then I ask myself, why should I be rebellious and seek something more… when I know it will turn sour?
The only lasting joy and pleasure is of His design and making. It is a much better pleasure.