What you believe about God shapes how you live. Unfortunately, many Christians believe that God exists to make them happy. We have made our happiness the ultimate goal of life. People often say, “God wants me to be happy.” Some will even use happiness to justify their sin. The attitude is, “Who cares what the Bible says as long as I am happy. God understands.” Our “me-centric” culture encourages us to pursue personal happiness at all costs.
The truth is that God does not exist to make us happy. We are made to live for Him (2 Corinthians 5:15, Philippians 2:13). This does not mean that God does not care about our happiness. It does mean that our happiness should not come at the expense of our holiness. In scripture, happiness is a result. Holiness is a pursuit. When we pursue happiness instead of holiness, we often end up outside of the will of God. Since happiness is a result of a pursuit, you may be wondering what you should be pursuing so that you can be happy. God’s word reveals how we can be happy.
Happiness comes from recognizing the goodness of the Lord. In 2 Chronicles 7:10, Israel is happy because of what God had done for them. The temple had been dedicated and they now had a permanent building in which to worship. When we realize the blessings of God in our lives, it brings joy to our hearts. We can be happy about what God does in the lives of others. God’s mercies, healing, provision, protection, and power are just some of the many ways that God demonstrates His goodness.
Happiness comes from enjoying the fruit of our hard work (Psalm 128:2). It seems like some people live to work. They work so much that they sacrifice family time, personal wellness, and time in worship. Scripture encourages us to take a break from working so that we can enjoy the things we have worked for. Pause to celebrate what you have accomplished.
Happiness comes from wisdom (Proverbs 3:18). In Proverbs 3 wisdom is personified. She is precious and her ways are pleasant. When you take hold of wisdom and live wisely, the result is happiness. Wisdom is a constant companion of those who are truly happy. She gives you the proper perspectives and allows you to focus on what really matters. Wisdom is available to those who ask God for it (James 1:5).
Happiness is found in keeping God’s commands (Proverbs 29:18). This is in stark contrast to the thinking of many in our world today. There are even Christians who believe that the world is a happier place than the church. But true happiness is the result of obedience to the Word of God. Those who live in defiance to God’s Word are plagued by their conscience. But those who live for God can be happy in their decision to follow His commands. This is the key to true happiness. Satisfaction of the soul is found when we are able to be satisfied with the goodness of God (Jeremiah 31:14).
Minister Ross' creativity, wisdom, and insight have inspired community, church and corporate audiences throughout the United States.