Who doesn’t enjoy a wonderful feel good story, book or movie? They lift our spirits and make us happy, and perhaps even help us forget about our troubles and hardships for a moment. We like them because they remind us that life is good and worthwhile despite the doom and gloom around us.
While searching the Internet, I found several web pages that list what they consider the best feel good books or movies of all-time. And as you might guess, they did not all agree on which books or movies to included. No surprise here because we like and dislike different things. So what makes one person feel good may not necessarily make another feel good.
Have you ever noticed that many inspirational stories begin with the main character drowning in difficulty, but by the end of the tale all turns out well? And, as you read or watch there is usually a point when hope enters the picture. This hope may oscillate up and down throughout the story, but in the end it prevails.
Many of these stories focus on entertainment value and so there is not much “meat” to them. And even those written more deeply usually have a limited effect and not much lasting interest. We read a book about heroes or those who overcame great odds, feel good for a little while, and then go about our lives without giving much more thought about the story. The recurring problem with most of these is that their influence and impact fade with time. They simply lack the power or relevancy to stick with us and change our lives.
Whatever books or movies you would include in a list of best feel good stories of all-time, I suggest one should be at the top of the list. It is the story line of the Bible. No other paints a picture of hope and sure victory as does God’s Word. Also, His message is relevant for all people for all-time and has the power to change everyone for the better.
Scripture tells us about our origin and purpose, about our failings and needs, and what we must do to please our Creator. So the first feel good statement of the Bible begins by asserting there is a God. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Gen. 1:1) He also made us superior to His other creation by giving us intellect, will, and reason. And more than that, He formed us in His image and likeness with a soul that lives beyond death. (Gen. 1:26-28)
Our purpose is simple and clear, we are here to serve and obey God. (Eccl. 12:13-14) Sadly, however, we failed early on. (Gen. 3:1-6) Eve first sinned, then Adam, and from that point every responsible person has violated Divine Will. (Rom. 3:23) Now because of our sin we find ourselves alienated from God’s fellowship, and thus drowning in trouble. (Eph. 4:17-19) It is a problem we could not resolve for ourselves. (Rom. 5:6) However, the second feel good point of the Bible reveals that God provided the solution. So now we have a glimmer of hope through Jesus Christ and His Word. (Col. 1:21-23)
It is a hope based on Divine love and grace because God sent His Son to die for us. (John 3:16) And even though we deserved none of His goodness, God viewed us precious enough to pay the price we could not pay. Thus the story leads us to feel good about His love and grace, and our value to Him.
Yet hope depends on our response to His grace. (2 Thess. 2:15-17) This means that I control my soul’s destiny. (Rev. 22:17) All I must do is believe in the Lord (John 6:68-69) and obey His commands. (1 John 5:3) Nothing makes me feel better than knowing I have final power over my soul’s future.
This power comes by knowing what God wants from me. (Rom. 1:16-17) Many people have tried to worship without God’s direction and the result is never good. Religion and sacrifice are not enough to please Him. Honesty and sincerity can fall short of what He wants. But we can feel good about the Bible’s clear and simply message for salvation. (Eph. 3:3-4)
Yes, there will be ups and downs in life, and hope may wane on occasion, but by God’s strength we can overcome. (Phil. 4:11-13) We must come to believe the hardships in this life mean nothing in comparison to eternity. (Rom. 8:18) This is why Christians can be happy and find peace even when life is difficult. (1 Peter 3:13-15) Thus the Bible tells us how to feel good even when life is not going our way.
The best part of the Bible’s story is what awaits those who remain faithful. We have the promise of victory and heaven is we stay true to God. (1 Cor. 15:51-58) This is the reason the story matters and why we should all read and pay attention to its message.
I would be amiss if I did not mention the other part of God’s Word. While it is the greatest feel good story of all time, it also warns of death and ruin for those who reject His grace. (Rev. 21:7-8) We must not allow sin to win in our lives because the result is everlasting torment and punishment. (2 Thess. 1:8-10)