You Were Created for PLEASURE
Posted on November 3, 2022
When God created the earth and filled it with plants and animals, He said it was good. But when He created mankind, He used different words. Creation suddenly became very good. (You can read the story in Genesis 1.)
Everything He created on the earth He gave to mankind to enjoy. Beauty, flavor, fun, all the mountains, all the oceans, all the animals. Imagine playing around with a tiger that had no desire to be dangerous—how fun would that be? Or would you prefer playing with a grizzly, a koala, or some giant fish deep in the sea? If there were no possibility for you or the animal to be hurt, what adventures would you go on?
Did you know the human tongue has the capacity to taste over 100,000 flavors?
The human eye can see over 1 million colors.
Or what about the sense of touch? How many sensory experiences would be available if nothing could harm you? And that is just with the physical body! What about your emotions? How many feelings would be possible?
God did not create us randomly. Everything He did has purpose.
He created us with this many possibilities for a reason—He wanted us to enjoy the life He gave us. He put Adam and Eve in a garden and purposefully called it Eden, which means “pleasure” or “paradise.”
That is where God designed us to live—in a garden full of pleasure.
The Psalmist wrote that pleasure is still His intention:
How precious is Your steadfast love, O God!
The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.
They feast on the abundance of Your house,
and You give them drink from the river of Your delights [Eden].
For with You is the fountain of life;
in Your light do we see light. (Psalm 36:7–9 ESV)
If sin had not entered the world, Psalm 36:7–9 is what our life would be like: pursuing pleasure, finding enjoyment in every good gift our Father gave us. That is still our aim, but now we have to discern between that which is truly good and that which is actually harmful—but dressed up as pleasurable.
God still wants us to enjoy life. To live life to the fullest. Jesus explained that the thief came to steal, kill, and destroy, but He came that we would have life “abundantly” (John 10:10).
If we were made for pleasure, why is there so much pain?
God has revealed what is good—and yet the world offers false pleasures. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil tells us to decide for ourselves. “You can pick what is good and what is not. You don’t need anyone else to tell you.”
But the tree of life finds sustenance only in the revelation God gives. It longs for His voice and what He says is good. (You can read more about this in Deuteronomy 8:3 and Matthew 4:4.)
The enemy wants us to think God is like him: stealing joy and reducing our pleasure. “God’s commandments are burdensome and meant to steal life from you! If you do what you want—what I say is good for you—you will be more fulfilled.”
In the end, everything comes down to this: Whom will we trust?
The false, fleeting pleasure of sin actually kills the true fulfillment and enjoyment we were created for (see Hebrews 11:25).
In his book The Weight of Glory, C. S. Lewis put it this way:
It would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.
When we separate the false pleasures offered by sin from the genuine good that God intends for us, we find our life filled with joy, and our enjoyment of His good gifts becomes worship.
As we enjoy the things God created—like a great meal, laughter with friends, our children at play, hard work that completes a task, sunsets exploding with color, the songs of birds—we remember that each of these was given by a good Father who intended us for fulfillment, not pain. Gratitude rises in our heart, and we find it easier to pursue righteousness, because we recognize it is the path to true joy. Our ability to fight temptation increases.
When pain and difficulty come into our life, we know these things are not the ultimate intention of our Father. This gives us greater capacity to endure through them, looking for the joy to come on the other side, just like our great High Priest, Jesus, did:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1–2)
Tribulation and difficulty come—but they also go. We can endure with patience, because we know that God intends good in the end.
So this is my prayer for you:
May God break off every religious mindset that values difficulty more than joy, pain more than health, and expects punishment more than blessings.
May you see the joy that is available now—but also the ultimate joy waiting in eternity, and may your heart be strengthened to endure, to resist temptation, and to expect good.
May you find joy in the moment: the smile of a loved one, the laughter of a friend, a meal cooked skillfully, and nature’s beauty.
May every joy point you toward the Father, the Source of all that is good, and may your life be one of worship and gratitude for the good gifts He has given!
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