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God and Your Happiness

One temptation which seems especially prevalent in the conservative and Reformed circles in which I move is to over react to false teaching about God and your happiness. Bible-minded believers are rightly suspicious of teachers who want to lure folks in with promises of a life filled with unmitigated joy. Or maybe it is just the perceived emphasis that some ministries have on happiness over holiness. Whatever the reason, we tend to react against anything that sounds like a superficial Christianity that prioritizes my own gladness over God’s glory.

But in doing so, we often go to far. And not infrequently do I hear well-meaning and otherwise orthodox preachers and teachers say things like “God is not interested in your happiness” or “God is not concerned about your happiness.”

Statements such as those simply cannot survive a careful examination with the Word of God. They are, at best, careless. At worst, they are flat out lies. God is not concerned with man’s happiness? Nothing could be further from the truth.

There is no Being in heaven and earth more concerned with man’s happiness than God Himself. The Bible, in some senses, could be seen as the Lord’s instruction manual for man’s happiness. “Blessed is the man” and “Happy are the people” are phrases that fill the pages of this inspired Book. In fact, Christ came to carry out the very plan which alone could secure for mankind a happy life, both now and for eternity. “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full (John 15:11).”

The question is not really about whether God wants us to be happy. He does. The issue is our definition of happiness. The problem arises when we fail to appreciate that forgiveness and a life of obedience to the Lord are the true path to real happiness. Real happiness cannot even begin until one is in a right relationship with God. Faith is the starting line for joy. And it is fair to say that he that is most holy, is most happy. Therefore, the unbeliever is a most unhappy person, no matter how he feels at the moment.

And joy can grow. Our increased happiness is the result of growing in holiness. Do you want to be happier? Be holier. Strive for a more comprehensive obedience in your thoughts, words and deeds. Get into God’s presence as often as you can.

Photo by Antonino Visalli on Unsplash

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