Do we seek happiness because we’re sinners or because we’re human? Should faith in God be dragged forward by duty or propelled by delight?
Must we choose between holiness and happiness? Much of my time with my wife, Nanci, and our family and friends is filled with fun and laughter. The God we love is the enemy of sin and the creator of pleasure and humor. (True, God’s gifts of art, movies, books, sports, work, food, drink, sex, and money can all be used selfishly and sinfully. In a fallen world, what can’t be?)
I was an empty, unhappy teenager when I first heard the Good News about Jesus. Soon I put my trust in him and experienced a deep, heartfelt happiness unlike anything I’d ever known. Nevertheless, there’s a paradigm-shifting doctrine I was never taught in church, Bible college, or seminary: the happiness of God. Scripture says about Christ, “Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked” (1 John 2:6). If Jesus walked around mostly miserable, it makes sense that we would. But if He was happy, shouldn’t we be happy too?
Christians throughout church history understood that happiness, gladness, feasting, and partying are God’s gifts, yet many Christians today live as if faith drains happiness! Life isn’t easy, of course, but believers have the benefit of walking the hard roads hand in hand with a Savior and King whose love for us is immeasurable. Who has more reason to be happy than we do?
Here’s a 5-minute interview on happiness I did with Crosswalk.com.
Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries.