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The Search for Happiness

The Search for Happiness
In our hectic modern day life, the search for happiness has never been so vigorously pursued. People today want an easier lifestyle with relatively few problems. Who doesn´t want to relax and have fun after a hard day at work? Many people breathe a sigh of relief when Friday arrives and repeat the popular saying, "Thank God it´s Friday!" What do people do to relax? Some people go to the movies, read a book, play sports or go shopping. Others go to the bar or house parties where they drink alcohol or take recreational drugs. This type of social activity can lead to very harmful addictions. It is well known that many alcoholics started out as social drinkers and many drug addicts started out taking drugs only at parties or other social occasions. It started as something harmless and fun, but after a period of time, became a habit and then an addiction. Alcohol and drugs are not the only things that people become addicted to in their search for something meaningful in life. Some people are addicted to gambling, others to sex. Some are addicted to sports. Many women find they take second place to the hockey game on TV.

The problem with addictions is that in drinking, for example, one drink is never enough. In fact, over time, more alcohol is required in order to get a "high." The high lasts only a few hours and then the results are usually a hangover or worse. Most addictions demand a high price in order to continue to get the "high" or the "fix." Sometimes, as in the case of alcoholism, a person will lose his job and even his family. Addictions affect everyone involved. Gamblers have lost their homes and their life savings. Some addicts resort to criminal activity – doing harm to others or robbing them in order to get the money to buy drugs.

Although not everyone becomes addicted to things to the degree that they destroy their own lives and others, there is one thing that is true for all of us - the things we resort to in the name of "relaxation" and "pleasure" to any degree does not provide lasting happiness and satisfaction. Most pleasures in this life are short-lived and quickly become only a memory as we move from one pleasure activity to another. We continue to seek pleasure because the void we feel inside can never be filled with momentary pleasures.

Speaking from personal experience, I too was once a drug addict and also a candidate for alcoholism, but had to quit drinking due to medical problems. I started as an adolescent and by my late teens I was addicted to drugs. I was only 18 and had already experienced so much so-called "fun" from drinking and drugs that I already felt as if I had lived a whole lifetime and that there was nothing left worth living for. In my search for meaning, I decided to hitch-hike to the Maritimes with my girlfriend. I thought that going to the ocean would bring me peace. But hitch-hiking only added to my problems as we narrowly escaped unharmed from some rides. One night we were dropped off outside of Montreal and we had to sleep in the ditch beside a major freeway. When we finally arrived home after 21 days, I had a feeling of accomplishment, but my depression only deepened. My problems were still there and I felt powerless to deal with them.

Then the most miraculous thing happened! My parents were very loving and knew I needed help, so they sent me to a Bible college where I was surrounded by kind and caring staff and students. Even though I was opposed to God and Christianity, I noticed that nearly everyone seemed to be so happy. But, I still fought with the idea of becoming a Christian. The last thing I wanted was to be a religious person. Even though my addiction to drugs had devastating effects, the thought of giving up my "free" and "fun" lifestyle to become a pious church member did not appeal to me.

As a student, I was required to read and study the Bible. In spite of myself, I found it quite an interesting book. But even more interesting was that the Person I was studying in the Bible became real to me. I started to realize why these Christians were so happy, even in the midst of great trials of their own. I was discovering, like they had, the true source of all joy -- Jesus! My recovery from drugs was gradual, but I remember waking up one morning and realizing I no longer "needed" a drug fix. I had this indescribable joy and peace in my heart that no high from drugs had ever given me.

The real joy came in knowing that Jesus truly cared about me. I came to believe that He loved me so much, He actually died for me 2,000 years ago and forgave me all my sins which were many. He wiped my slate clean and gave me a chance to start my life over again. I left Bible school as a new person inside and out. I know first-hand that Jesus is a true Friend who is more than willing and able to work miracles in my life and anyone else who is willing to give Him a try. For as Jesus says, "If the Son therefore, shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed" (John 8:36). The search for happiness begins when we are ready to turn our lives over to Jesus.

To find out more about how to receive salvation today, please go to this link: The Way of Salvation
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