Updated: Jul 17
We tend to take the little things in life for granted. Things like a warm shower. I learned this lesson the hard way this week when our hot water heater died and it took a few days to replace. Thankfully, sponge baths are no more!
There are many simple pleasures I enjoy. A good book. A good conversation. A good night's sleep (I had one last evening after dealing with insomnia for a few days.)
What about you? What simple pleasures have you enjoyed this week?
As we get older, there can be new and greater appreciation for the little things in life; the simple pleasures become nearer and dearer to us.
It is a shame then that the church doesn’t talk more about pleasure. After all, God created us for His enjoyment. God created us to enjoy Him.
The opening question of the Westminster Catechism reminds me of this. “What is the chief end of man? Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.”
As Christians we understand the idea behind glorifying God; but what about the second half of the answer—enjoying God? What does it mean to enjoy God? How do we enjoy God?
God created us for pleasure. God put Adam in the Garden to enjoy His companionship, and so that Adam could enjoy the beauty of creation. God then created Eve so that Adam and his wife might enjoy each other’s company.
Of course, now the simple pleasures of life can be tainted by sin. The simple pleasures of life can also become sinful when we pursue them above all else, including God. (So many people today worship the gifts of God, rather than the Giver of each and every perfect gift.)
Ever since the fall into sin in the Garden of Eden, man’s search for pleasure has ended on a dead-end road. Eve and Adam fell for the deceiver’s lie that they didn’t need their Creator any longer. They could be their own gods. They could decide what was good and evil for themselves. They could pursue pleasure on their own terms.
And so it has been down through the ages. The apostle Paul wrote: “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God”.
Doesn’t this sound very much like the time we find ourselves living in these days? Don’t Paul’s words describe America in 2021? People have forsaken the love of God for the love of pleasure.
But God’s people must fight an opposite temptation. What temptation is this? It’s the temptation to be puritanical. What is puritanism? It has been defined as the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, might be happy. As Christians, sometimes we need to be reminded that it is ok to be happy. It is ok to enjoy the simple pleasures of life.
The key to the right understanding of pleasure is found in having a right relationship with God. And a right relationship with God is exactly why Jesus came to earth. The eternal Son of God became one of us to die for our sins that we might be reconciled to the Father. We are saved by grace through faith in Christ. We can now rejoice in the Lord. And we can rejoice in His many good gifts to us, including the simple pleasures of life.
But there are other pleasures that await us. David writes about these in Psalm 16: You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence,
with eternal pleasures at Your right hand.
And so, because of Christ, go ahead and enjoy the simple pleasures of life. Do so knowing that even greater pleasures await you—all for His sake. Amen.