Photo Above: Cannon Beach, Oregon. Photographer: John Fowler from Placitas, NM, USA
Does God Want Me to be Happy?
Does God want me to be happy? The answer to this question is not yes or no. The answer is something different altogether. The answer is that God’s chief concern for our lives is that we live for his Glory. As Christians we will go through all of the different emotions of life just like everyone else. This includes happiness, sadness, confusion, clarity, excitement, depression, and whatever else life brings. However, as we live for God’s glory we will find deep joy and purpose, which trumps the idea of God wanting us to be happy.
At first one may cringe at the fact that God’s chief concern is that we live for His glory. Some may even say it is selfish on God’s part. However, living for God’s glory will bring us the greatest joy and purpose for several reasons.
One reason is simple. It is because we were created to live for God’s glory. Somewhere deep inside everybody is a desire to live for something and someone greater. Living for God’s glory fits into the fabric of our spiritual DNA. This is what we were made for, our chief purpose. We were not made to live for ourselves but someone greater. As we make our chief aim to bring glory to God, we end up finding deep joy that we could not find by living for ourselves, or even as deep of joy as God living for us. Yes, if God’s chief purpose and existence was to bring us joy and help us through situations, we still could not find as much joy as in living for God’s glory. Living for someone else is the greatest joy.
Another reason we find joy and purpose bringing glory to God is because of the very fact that our focus is off ourselves and onto someone and something ultimately greater. Almost everybody has been marred by some level of pain, sorrow, or hurt. Almost everybody wishes at least to some degree the narrative of their lives would be different. However, as we live for God’s glory, our lives are intertwined into his His story of redemption. Through this we find great hope and joy.
One final reason we find joy and purpose in living for God’s glory is because God is so good. God’s goodness is integral to the Christian faith. God describes himself as love. The narrative of the Bible leads up to the death, burial, and resurrection of God’s son. God’s love is sacrificial and extravagant. If we say we truly believe in the Scriptures and the Christian view of God, the cross should forever mute our doubts about God’s goodness or love. John, arguably, one of Jesus’s closest friends on earth states the famous scripture “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”
So, the question if God wants me to be happy or not happy is in reality the wrong question altogether. A better question is how come God has chosen to love me with such a deep sacrificial love?