The worldview of peace and happiness can often be described as a life without pain, distress, or the troubles of life. Our trials and tribulations can be remedied most often by the soothing of the soul, either with pleasure or self gratification. There may be no stronger example of this than when we see the mighty King Saul tormented by an evil spirit, desperately searching for relief. The Holy Spirit was not with Saul in the way that he would be with David. The Spirit was bestowed upon Saul to empower him for his work, but Saul's conduct proves that the Spirit did not come upon him savingly; there was no spiritual transformation in him. Saul was alive physically and empowered for his work, but he remained spiritually dead. David by contrast shows us that the Spirit comes both to empower and to save, and David's conduct later in his ministry demonstrates that he is a true believer. A divine permission was given to the devil to torment Saul by means of corrupt actions in his thinking, and the confused passions of his mind. Relief will always be quickly sought after, as David's ability as a skillful harpist to play soothing music when the Spirit is at work, is soothing to Saul. This however is nothing more than a Band-Aid, for what Saul really needs is "spiritual heart surgery". Deep and true repentance. Not surprisingly, Saul prefers the harpist idea for a quick remedy where one can say with relief, "It doesn't get any better than this".
Rather than submitting to a lasting peace, an eternal peace, resting with God during the dark night of the soul, we strive for momentary bursts of pleasure, temporary at best, to carry us through when the night is long. God wants us to live for Him, trusting Him to work out the details of our lives, as only He can give us lasting peace and joy.
Do you need spiritual heart surgery? A life without repentance, forgiveness, and submission to the God of truth will experience momentary bursts of fulfillment; however, without God deep in our hearts and minds, one is pitifully left to look forward only to momentary bursts of pleasure and happiness.
As David writes in Psalm 42, "Just as the deer pants for the water, so my soul longs after you oh God. Why so downcast oh my soul, put your trust in God" (Ps. 42:1 – 11).