When God Grants Happiness to Us, He Reveals His Own Happiness

After the exiles had returned to Jerusalem and the wall had been rebuilt, Nehemiah told the people to feast and celebrate. He said, “The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). The Good News Translation renders this verse, “The joy that the Lord gives you will make you strong.” The passage isn’t simply about our joy in God but about the way God imparts His joy to us.

Note the jubilant enthusiasm of God when He says of His children, “I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul” (Jeremiah 32:41). Imagine the warmth and gladness you feel when you do something special for someone you love deeply. Now magnify that feeling exponentially to appreciate God’s love and happiness toward us!

In 1754, Horace Walpole coined the word serendipity, based on a Persian fairy tale of the Middle Ages called “The Three Princes of Serendip.” Serendipity is defined as “an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident.”

Serendipity is a pleasure for anyone. But it should have special meaning for people who believe that those seemingly accidental delights are actually planned by the sovereign God, who purposefully interjects unexpected pleasures into our lives.

One of my Bible college professors often shared illustrations of Christ’s presence in the small events of his day. I asked myself why those things didn’t happen to me. As time passed, God showed me that they did—I just hadn’t noticed!

Since God is sovereign in even the smallest things of life, shouldn’t we think of the leaves falling from the trees, the rabbit bounding across the trail, the old friend we see in the store, or the unexpected word of encouragement as God sharing with us His happiness? The fact that God provides us with causes for happiness in our lives serves as further proof of His happy and pleasure-giving nature.

One day on the New Earth, when we see God’s face, our happiness will be direct (see Revelation 22:4). God will still give us happiness in secondary ways, such as through fellowship with other saints, heavenly creatures, natural wonders, and animals. But our blinders will be off—we’ll never again fail to see God as the chief happiness behind every lesser happiness.

On that day we’ll take a bite of great food and give praise to the Creator and Provider. We’ll laugh with others, never forgetting that God Himself is the source of laughter and delights to share in it. (And there’s every reason to believe that Jesus will have the most contagious laugh.) His delight will be our delight, and our delight will be His.

Only the God who is so vast as to be Father, Son, and Holy Spirit can conceive of and implement such good news of great joy, which is the foundation of our eternal happiness.

Happiness bookFrom Eternal Perspective Ministries: Randy’s book Happiness has been released in softcover. Same content; brand new cover! It's now available on our store for $11.99 (40% off $19.99 retail). Plus, get an extra 15% off your order with code SUMMER24.

A reader writes: "This book has been tremendously helpful for my relationship with God. As a young mom who has suffered with fibromyalgia, insomnia, and cancer, I found myself becoming jaded and struggling to view God as a loving God, and certainly struggling to view Him as a happy God! I was battling with depression and imagining that God would destroy my happiness if I ever found it again. What a horrible way to think! I am so thankful that God brought this book my way to help correct my view of Him. I am learning again to praise and trust God, seeking ways to find joy in Him daily. A big thanks to Randy for this book."


Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries