Sometimes focusing on God’s “big miracles”—like curing cancer and making brain tumors disappear—causes us to overlook His small, daily miracles of providence in which He holds the universe together, keeps our hearts beating, provides us with air to breathe and lungs to breathe it, and gives us food to eat and stomachs to digest it.
I find that most Christians are surprised but open to these ideas about happiness, including that God is a happy God and offers us His own happiness. Yet some remain doggedly determined to believe and teach that God doesn’t want His children happy and happiness is inherently wrong. This is so strange, because what loving father doesn’t want his children full of joy and happiness, in the right sense?
Since childhood, I’ve loved the stars. I loved them before I loved the God who made them. Loving God causes me to delight in the stars not less but more—partly because I can’t look at them without thinking of Him and partly because I know He loves His creation. When I enjoy the stars, I pay Him a compliment and join in His enjoyment.
So should we feel guilty for being unhappy, struggling with depression, and being sad at the suffering in our lives and others’ lives? No, but we should feel a liberating hope that Jesus, who knows infinitely more about suffering than we do, offers us and calls us to greater happiness than we’ve known.
People who think a lot about themselves and their plans for wealth and success—e.g., writing a bestselling book and being mentioned in the same sentence with Hemingway—tend to be unhappy. However, people who think a lot about Christ and His grace, the great doctrines of the faith, and how to love and serve others tend to be happy people.
In April 2017, Randy Alcorn spoke at the Life Impact Event on the topic of Heaven and happiness. He was interviewed by the president of Life Impact, David Knauss. In this clip, Randy talks about material possessions and happiness. For more information on this subject, check out Randy's Happiness book.