Mike Novotny - A Love and Happiness That Endures Forever
I have always been a lover of Broadway, just the way I was raised. My mom, my dad, my older brother took me to shows, "Phantom of the Opera," "Les Mis," "Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat". I heard the songs, I bought the CDs back in the day. I love Broadway musicals and I still do. I met my wife who loves musicals and now we're raising two daughters who adore musicals. In fact in my house, I'm the breakfast guy so when I'm making toast or cereal or some other gourmet entree, we always have the musical playlist going on in our home in the background.
One of the things I find really interesting about musicals though, is what they teach us about being happy. I'm always curious of the storyline. If St. Augustine was right, that every person desires to be happy, what are the people in these shows, writers who come up with these plots and scripts, tell us about happiness? I think about the mega hit musical "Hamilton". Have you heard of it? Here's Alexander Hamilton, he's this orphan from some island and he escapes poverty and becomes one of America's founding fathers, and yet he's still not happy.
He survives the craziness of the Revolutionary War when so many people died and yet he's still not happy. He meets this woman and falls in love with her, they have a child, an amazing kid, but he's still not happy. He's rich, he's famous, he's influenced the founding of this nation in so many ways, but as his wife sings to him in one song, "You will never be satisfied," and he wasn't. And his lack of happiness pushed him to work hours that he shouldn't have worked, to spend too much time away from his wife, and he ended up in the arms of another woman. Not being happy made him really sad. And then there's "Dear Evan Hansen".
You heard of that one? Stunning music, an amazing story. It's about this kid who isn't happy. His parents divorced, his dad took off in the moving truck, and his mom is doing her best. She's a single mom who works long hours to pay the bills and just doesn't have the time and attention that her son needs. And so he comes up with this grandiose lie to get love and affection from another family. And he's so, so happy until the lie gets exposed and everything falls apart, and he loses friendships and their affection and all the love that he had at first received. And in my opinion, the musical is heartbreaking. Because at the end, when his mom finds out how he really felt, sad enough to try to commit suicide, she makes him this promise that she's going to be there.
Except if you think about it, she can't keep the promise. Her family isn't perfect, she has to work those hours to pay the bills. And the musical just left me sad thinking, "I don't know if he's going to be happy". Every time I see a musical with my wife, I have this kind of annoying habit. As soon as the final note is played, I look at her with big eyes and I say, "That was about God"! Of course that's what the pastor says, right? But, I think about that. This is not just what Broadway, but what the Bible teaches. That's about God. It's about people who want to be happy and they're looking down all the wrong paths to find it. Sometimes sinful paths like adultery and lying, sometimes good paths that just can't satisfy like fame and money and romance. They look for happiness in things that don't endure instead of in the only One who does.
That's why today, I don't want to give you lyrics from a Broadway musical, I want to give you verses from a Bible chapter. In Psalm 136, we find these incredible words. That desire that these characters have for something to endure forever, you can't find it in the things of this life, but God's love endures forever. And apparently that's so important for you to know, if you can see my Bible, it doesn't just show up in verse one or verse two or three or four or five or six or seven or eight or nine or 10. "His love endures forever" is repeated 26 times in just this one chapter of the Bible. "His love endures forever. His love endures forever. His love endures forever". God planting that seed and watering it until it grows in your heart because He wants you to be happy.
So maybe like the people in the Broadway musicals, your life is far from perfect. Maybe you're an orphan, maybe you're the victim of adultery, maybe you feel the stress of your job, maybe you've lost a kid. Maybe you've told lies and there are consequences to your sin and you've lost people's trust. Maybe your parents' marriage didn't make it and you feel lonely and unloved. Well, you don't have to feel that way because "His love endures forever". Victor Hugo, the guy who wrote the book, "Les Mis," he had this amazing quote that comes up in the musical. He says, "The supreme happiness of life consists in the conviction that one is loved".
The highest level of happiness that you can get comes from knowing at the end of every day, you're loved. And because of Jesus, you can know that. "His love endures forever. His love endures forever. His love endures forever". At least that's what I learned from "The Lion King". After the closing note of the musical, I said to my wife, "That was about God"! and she didn't believe me. So here's what I said, "Think of Simba, the son of Mufasa. He's betrayed by someone he thinks that he can trust and he ends up what everyone thinks is dead until he comes back and he fights against the roaring lion, his Uncle Scar. He brings life and light back to the kingdom".
Sound familiar? Here's Jesus, our Savior. He is the Son of the King, the Son of God. He's betrayed by one of His friends and people just don't think He's dead, He actually is dead until the third day, until Jesus comes back from the grave. He fights against the devil, the roaring lion. He scatters the darkness of shame, embarrassment, sin. He conquers death and He brings light and life back to the kingdom of God. Come on, I was right, wasn't I? It's all about Jesus because His light, His life, His love, it endures forever. So if you're like me and you desire to be happy, don't look for it in the things of Broadway. Look for it in the truths of the Bible. That because of Jesus, God's love for you endures forever. Let's pray:
God, thank You for love that doesn't quit. Love that's not scared off by the messiness of life. Love that isn't nullified by our struggles and messiness and sin. Thank You God, for love that endures forever. Thank You for not hiding that passage in one obscure verse, but repeating it so many times until we'd actually believe it, that Your love will never fail us. We thank You for that love and we pray that today it would make us happy. We ask it in Jesus' name, amen.
Is there someone that you know and love that would be blessed by that simple message that God's love endures forever? I'd love for you to tag them in the comment section below, and bonus points, if they love musicals. Are we keeping points now on our videos? Well, in any case, thanks for watching this video, thanks for sharing the message of God's love, and we'll catch you next time.