People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Timothy 6: 9, 10)
Wow! Those are some strong words.
I enjoy watching the reality show The Deadliest Catch. I think what fascinates me the most is the water. I love the ocean. It reflects the strength and power of the almighty God who rules it. It also demands the respect of the men who work on it fishing for crab and other types of ocean fish.
Deadliest Catch is filmed on the Bering Sea in Alaska. The men who work on the fishing vessels are somewhat God-fearing. I say “somewhat” because there is a lot of bad language which needs to be bleeped out first of all, but many of the men struggle with issues such as alcohol abuse and drug abuse. They do respect God however. At the beginning of each season a prayer is offered asking God to be with them and keep everyone safe. I am not aware of the personal beliefs of any of the men on the show and I realize that all people, even those who truly love God struggle with sin and addictions.
During this 2014 season, one of the captains is featured as he struggles through his addiction to alcohol and drugs. His life seems to be out of control. His girlfriend of several years, and the mother of his children is leaving him, and this is not the first time. They have two children together whom he loves deeply. He is at the breaking point and walks off his vessel not telling anyone where he is going or when he will return. He walked away from the men who were counting on him. They can’t go crab fishing without their captain.
When he finally returns his father has a face to face talk with him pointing out to him what he already knows but hasn’t wanted to admit. He is addicted to alcohol and drugs. He needs help, and is in no condition to successfully and safely captain a crab vessel. At the end of the episode we see him getting on an airplane and later driving to somewhere in Mexico to a rehabilitation facility. On the following episode when he returns to his crab vessel, supposedly all healed after 30 days at the facility, he states; Back to work making money… Money is what makes people happy.
Somehow with that attitude, I don’t think his troubles are over. Money is really not what makes people happy. It seems the more money we have, the more we think we need. The more we buy, the more we want. Spending money makes people happy for a minute, but pretty soon we get bored with our new “things” and think we need to buy something else new…and then something else. When we search for happiness in material possessions, we are never quite satisfied. Eventually the same old problems will resurface causing pain and heartache for all involved.
What do we really need to make us feel happy and fulfilled? What is it that will fill that empty place in our heart and that void in our lives? Many people search their whole life and never find it. But I know the secret to happiness and I would like to share it with you. True happiness comes only through faith in Jesus. Faith comes by God’s never ending grace through reading, studying and hearing the Word of God. It is also granted by the Holy Spirit through baptism.
Faith in Jesus changes everything. It gives us hope for eternity. Without Jesus, we have no hope. We are sinners and not fit to stand before a holy God. We are doomed to hell because no matter how hard we try we can’t be good enough. We sin daily by thought, word and deed. But Jesus lived the perfect life we are unable to live. He was punished and died in our place. He conquered death and Satan when he rose again three days later. His blood washed us and made us
clean and white and perfect. Now when God looks at all who have faith in Jesus, He sees the holiness of His Son. He no longer sees the dirty rotten sinners that we are. We are forgiven. We belong to Him. We are clothed in Christ and have a Father who loves us unconditionally and will never leave us. We no longer need to fear dying. With Jesus we are immortal. This life is just a stepping stone to the life to come where we will live in the presence of God eternally. You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. (Galatians 3: 26)
Our faith in Jesus inspires us to live for Him. We are free from the guilt of sin which drags us down and makes us feel worthless. Our hearts are filled with love for Him and our desire is to serve Him. Our earthly possessions? We can’t take them with us when we die. We won’t need them in heaven.
When we trust in Jesus and put him first in our lives, we will have all that we need and more. It isn’t wrong to have money and possessions, but it IS wrong to make our possessions our priority and in the end we will never be happy. Make Jesus your priority and you will be blessed! You will realize you no longer need to buy new and expensive things every other week to be happy. He will help you overcome your addictions and your sinful habits. You will become addicted to Jesus and that is a wonderful addiction to have!
He doesn’t promise that those who believe in Him by faith will never have problems. But He does promise to be with His believers and give them the strength to persevere. He promises to hear and answer prayer. He will turn your troubles into blessings if you just put your trust in Him.
The young captain from the Deadliest Catch will more than likely never see this writing, but he does need our prayers. When you pray, ask God to open his heart and make him receptive to the Holy Spirit so that with the eyes of faith he will see and realize what is really and truly important in life. Drugs and alcohol only relieve symptoms for a short time. When the effects wear off our problems are still there looming before us. Jesus doesn’t just relieve symptoms. He heals us. He makes us whole again. We will find that we no longer need the bad addictions. We will have a good addiction – Jesus!
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasure in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where you treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6: 19-21)
Gloria Dei! Amen.