The greatest joy of my life has been to know Christ as my Savior and to see all He has done in and through me, in spite of my humanity. His promises are true and He wants His best blessings for all of us.
For four weeks, I want to look at several things Christians say which sound so good, but aren’t true. You could probably call these thoughts – “God never said that!”
The first untruth I want to deal with is the well known thought many Christians believe – “God wants you happy”. What I’m going to say will seem to contradict a series of lessons we studied at our Simple Church here in Des Moines this year, called “Crazy Happy”. (You can watch this message series here on YouTube.) This is a study of the “Beatitudes” and it promised that God does want us to be “Crazy Happy”, but according to His understanding of what happiness is. The “Beatitudes” are all about God blessing our lives which will bring true happiness. The Greek word for “blessed” is “makarios” which means –“to be happy or blissful,” “supremely blessed," more than happy," “a self-contained happiness that is independent of our circumstances”.
So many Christians today think whatever makes me happy must be right & whatever makes me unhappy must be wrong. Discomfort, delay, risk, suffering, inconveniences and obstacles can’t be God’s will. Without even realizing it, we can often begin to worship the false gods of comfort, money, pleasure, etc. and develop a theology of happiness that doesn’t really coincide with the teachings of Christ. I believe God does want us to be happy, but happiness is not always found where we look for it. A key understanding to find this “true happiness” is to
realize that God does not want us to pursue happiness -- He wants us to pursue Him for who He is and that alone, because that is where true and lasting “blessed happiness” is found!
Right here someone is bound to ask, “well, Tom, you mean God doesn’t want us to be
happy? No! He is not against happiness but He wants us to understand two truths:
I. God doesn't want us happy when it causes us to do something wrong or unwise.
Proverbs 16:25 tells us, "There is a way that seems right to man, but in the end, it
leads to death." (NIV)
2. God doesn't want us happy when it's only based on the things of this world because they will not last!! I John 2:15-17 says, "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in them. For everything in the world, the lust of the flesh (immoral passion, pampering our appetites), the lust of the eyes (materialism, vanity, envy), the pride of life (pride, power, success), comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires, they pass away. They're gone (they’re never fully satisfying, they don’t last), but whoever does the will of God lives forever." (NLT, with added notes in italics)
So, does God want us happy? – of course – He doesn’t want us miserable, which is the opposite of happiness. But, He wants us to understand what true and lasting “happiness” and “blessing” really are – “to experience the goodness of God in the middle of our difficulties, our pain, our troubles in this sinful and broken world – God will be with us in the middle of our storm! True blessing is knowing the supernatural peace of God that goes beyond our human ability to ever understand or comprehend that will keep our hearts, our minds and our souls in Christ Jesus.
May God’s “blessed happiness” be His gift to you today.