Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Friday, November 1, 2013

God Wants Me to be Happy--Or Not

Photo by: Sura Nualpradid

When God created people and put them on the earth, He had a special purpose for them. He wanted Adam and Eve to have a special relationship with Him and a pure fellowship with them. As we know, for a while, it was a perfect world. Then, it was spoiled by sin. But, God had already planned for man’s redemption through Jesus Christ, and His purpose for mankind continued.

I’ve heard different versions of this statement: “God wants us to be happy.”

Does He?

The biblical answer is yes—and no.

Let’s explore this question. I think sometimes we have the emphasis on the wrong subject. It’s important to find balance.

Let’s start with a couple of dictionary definitions so that we understand what we’re talking about:
Happiness: a state of well-being and contentment, a pleasurable or satisfying experience
      Joy: a feeling of great happiness, a source or cause of great happiness

The difference between happiness and joy seems to be that happiness is more feeling oriented, and joy has to do with the source of happiness.

The Lord Jesus talked about happiness in the Sermon on the Mount. Every time He said “Blessed” He was saying “Happy.” Let’s look at this passage:
        And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
        Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
        Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
        Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
        Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
        Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
        Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
        Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
        Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
        Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
        Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you (Matthew 5:2-12).

Who are the happy people in the Beatitudes? Well, we can make a list: the poor in spirit, those that mourn, the meek, and so on. But, what is the common thread here? Happiness comes from God! He’s the One Who comforts and gives them an eternal inheritance, mercy, and heaven. The reason these people are happy is because of the Lord!

Here are some more verses about happiness and joy:
  • Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night (Psalm 1:1-2).
  • Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart (Psalm 37:4).
  • But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice (Psalm 68:3).
  • Behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart (Isaiah 65:14a).
  • I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly (John 10:10b).
  • Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full (John 16:24).

Notice that our happiness is not based on transient good feelings. It doesn’t happen because circumstances happen to be good. It is attainable, and its foundation is joy. Joy is deep. It is real.

Happiness based on joy in the Lord is true happiness.

Happiness because of doing God’s will lasts.

Happiness that comes from rejoicing in God or in His work (creation included) is really joy.

Does God want us to be happy? Yes.

How does God define happiness? Joy—in Him, because of Him.

It begins with salvation from sin. Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered (Psalm 32:1).

The Apostle Peter, quoting David said, Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance (Acts 2:28).

The joy that comes from being in Christ is eternal happiness. Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore (Psalm 16:11).

Only in the Lord can we have true, lasting happiness.


Please share your thoughts.