God Wants You to Be Happy, But…
Someone is about to be divorced without scriptural cause. By way of justification they say, “I just know that God would want me to be happy”. A Christian has forsaken the assembling of the saints in order to enjoy a ski trip. They argue, “God knows how hard I work and how much a need a little R&R”. A family is going deeper and deeper into debt to have more and more material toys. They explain, “Sure, we cannot afford all this stuff, but God understands that we need to enjoy life.”
Does one’s personal choice of happiness negate the commandments of God? Does Christianity and the commandments suck the joy and happiness right out of life? Can you really enjoy life and be pleasing to God as a faithful Christian?
Yes! God does want you to be happy. “Joy” is one of the fruits of the Spirit that a Christian must have (Gal. 5:22). Paul commanded the Christians at Philippi to “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” (Phil. 4:4). Christ gave His commandments not to make his disciples miserable, but to give them joy. He said, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full” (Jn. 15:11). Again He told them, “Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you” (Jn. 15:22). The variety of trials the confront us daily are not permitted by a mean, sadistic God, but so we can rejoice. “My brethren, count it all joy when you all into various trials” (Js. 1:2). Even young people are to enjoy life. “Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth…” (Eccl. 11:9). No wonder the Psalmist proclaimed, “Happy are the people whose God is the Lord!” (Ps. 144:15). Of a certainty, God wants us to be happy.
The problem is many men have no clue how to be happy or what even makes for happiness. Often in the reckless headlong, blind pursuit of happiness they end up making their lives so miserable they create a life of misery. This is the very thing God does not want.
In man’s quest for fun he will fill his mind and time with immoral thoughts and images from TV shows. He will fill his stomach with food, fermented drinks and mind numbing pharmaceuticals. They will find fun in fornicating, then aborting. Pursuing pleasure they will get tattoos, speed, dance, etc. The pleasure crazed world has come up with the philosophy for fun. This “F”ilosphphy includes Five Foul Factors:
▸ Financial Fortune
▸ Fame & Popularity
▸ Friends & Family
▸ Fleshly Pleasures
▸ Fermented Beverages & Drugs
In order to enjoy life it is believed one must set aside God’s laws. The most common commandments rejected as barricades to happiness are: doctrines regarding marriage, divorce and remarriage; worshiping in truth, being faithful in attendance, sexual fidelity, proper parenting, and the stewardship of possessions. These are the vary laws God has set up to assure mankind of happiness.
When God’s laws are set aside in the pursuit of happiness, misery is soon to follow. Happiness is not breaking all the rules. Many men and women of the Bible had to find out this truth the hard way. Herod Antipas was happy to lust after his lascivious dancing step-daughter. In the end, it cost John the baptist his head and made Antipas a murderer. Samson was a He-man with She trouble. In his pursuit for philistine females he found himself bald and fettered in a prison. The rich young ruler came to Jesus seeking a way to eternal life. Jesus told him to go and sell all, give to the poor and follow Him. His love of riches did not make him happy, but only allowed him to go away sorrowful. David may have been happy lusting after the bathing beauty Bathsheba, but this led to adultery, a failed cover-up, drunkenness, murder, the death of the child and a life time of misery. In the parable of the rich farmer who was delighted with the bumper crop, he knew the wretchedness of failing to show proper stewardship of the soul. Even Eve thought she could find fun in eating the forbidden fruit. It turned out to be a bitter mouthful as it cost her and Adam paradise. You see, when God’s laws are cast aside the road to paradise is not open. Instead the barricades to joy are erected.
The good news is God loves you so much He has given some basic rules for the road to happiness. First, we must learn to trust in the Lord. “He who heeds the word wisely will find good, and whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he” (Prov. 16:20). Our way to joy is having our own way. We think God cannot be trusted with something so dear as our personal happiness. Yet, as little children who joyfully trust their parents, we too can be happy by trusting God. Next, you must remember that your character is more important to your happiness than the circumstances which happen to you. Jesus gave eight beatitudes at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount. (Matt. 5:3-12). These are the attitudes that need to be in you if you are to be happy. They include a blessing, a character trait and a promise. Those who wish to find joy in Christ’s kingdom must work on their character and not just work on creating a perfect set of circumstances. The greatest expressions of joy in heaven and on earth come when someone is saved. Jesus said that the angels rejoice in heaven over every penitent sinner. What a grand celebration that must be. We are told to rejoice over our names being written in heaven (Lk. 10:20) The Ethiopian Eunuch and the Philippian jailor’s household rejoiced after being baptized for the forgiveness of their sins (Acts 8:38,39; 16:31-34).
It has been said that “Joy is the flag that flies over the castle of our hearts announcing that the king is in residence today.” If Christ is the crowned King of your life then you are one of the happiest people in the world. Have you crowned Him king of your life?
– Daniel R. Vess