In a recent interview Bernie Ecclestone, the prominent Formula 1 racing ringmaster stated, “I am not sure what happiness is. What do those feelings mean? I have experienced satisfaction when I have planned something and it has come off, but happiness? I am not sure.” Those words will come as a great surprise to many people.
Ecclestone is reported to be a multi-millionaire, a famous personality who attracts the attention of thousands of fans across the world. He is often photographed on luxury yachts and appears to live at the high-end of life. Many covet that type of lifestyle and believe that it must lead to happiness and deep contentment. So to hear a man who appears to “have it all” saying that he is not sure what happiness is will come as a great surprise.
But there is nothing really surprising about this admission. The things of this world may bring some pleasure but they can never bring true joy to the soul. The prodigal son lived a riotous life in the far country, wasting his substance on harlots and the like, but he came to acknowledge that he was “perishing.” His pursuit of the world left him bereft of happiness. Sadly, this is the course that many take. They are led to believe that happiness is found in possessions or prosperity or popularity. They think that if they can do what they please they will be content. But it’s a hopeless dream—a mirage that leads to deep despair of heart.
True happiness is not found in the things of this world or in doing that which is right in our own eyes. It is found in a person—the Lord Jesus Christ and in a saving relationship with Him. It was the entrance of sin that plunged this world into a state of unhappiness and misery, and it is only by salvation from that sin, through Christ, that we can experience real joy. It’s no surprise then to find those without Christ living without true happiness. King David summarized the secret of happiness supremely well when he said, “Happy is that people, whose God is the Lord.” There is real joy in knowing Christ and living in obedience to His glorious word.
“I wish everyone could get rich and famous and everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that’s not the answer.”— Jim Carrey (actor, comedian, and producer)