Does God want us to be happy?
Scripture, when it mentions happiness, usually speaks of it in terms of a fleeting moment or a temporal, earthly event. The scriptures, [nor Christ] never tell us that God wants us to “be happy.” He wants us to be a lot of things: righteous , holy , Godly , pure , etc….but “happy” doesn’t make the list. God is more concerned with our holiness than our happiness. [It’s cliché, I know, but it’s true.]
Typically, people [especially Americans] tend to think in terms of happiness and immediacy more than joy and steadfastness. We want God to send us good times, good feelings, and keep all the unpleasant things to Himself. But, the truth is, being happy and satisfied in our daily lives is a byproduct of following Jesus with an obedient heart. It is not the reason we follow Him.
His sacrifice demands a response, that’s why we give our life to Him. As we connect with Him and let His Spirit lead us, we are offered abundant life. Abundance in Christ is not synonymous with happiness though. I would argue that being a Christian is actually harder than not . However, the reward of following Christ, the blessing He gives of Himself, His peace, and the fruit we grow in, far outweigh our temporary sufferings while on this earth.
“For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake.” -Philippians 1:29
Do you think God wants us to be happy? Do you think there’s a difference between happiness and joy? What do you agree with? Disagree with?