“God is the one who gave us the deep desire for happiness. He delights in our delight.” Alli Worthington
If you asked me before now if God wanted us to be happy, I would’ve given the expected answer and said yes. In my head, though, I would have questioned the question because I associated God with suffering, not happiness.
I thought the same as my friend said, “It never occurred to me that God wanted Adam and Eve to be happy. I dwelled on Him kicking them out of Eden, not on how brokenhearted He was because they had to leave.”
Instead of blaming Adam and Eve, I blamed God. I overlooked His goodness because I questioned it.
Plus, if I blamed the two of them for forfeiting their happiness, I had to look at how I forfeited my own.
Alli Worthington in her article “God Created Us for Happiness” at FaithGateway.com said, “The things in our lives that lead to misery are all things that happen outside of God’s will – pride, selfishness, unforgiveness, lifelong patterns of specific sins.”
It was easier to abuse my free will and blame God than it was to deal with what separated me from Him and from my happiness, which were things like depression, dread, and wanting my way. The things that made me unhappy were the same things that separated me from the only One who could make me happy – God.
Happiness isn’t simply a desire, but a responsibility according to C.S. Lewis. He said, “It is a Christian duty . . . for everyone to be as happy as he can.”
The Bible backs up our obligation to be happy. Reverend David Jeremiah wrote “34 Verses About Happiness.” Woman’s Day Freelance Assistant Editor Sophia Caraballo wrote in 2019 about 20 verses that’ll remind you to smile no matter what. The writer at BibleReasons.com listed quotes, benefits, and 90 Bible verses about happiness and joy in a recently published (2021) article “What does the Bible say about happiness?”
The only thing stopping us from being happy is our free will turned to self-will and away from His will.
If we’ll turn back around, I promise He wants us happier than we can imagine and happier than we can ever make ourselves no matter how hard we try. Just like I mentioned in part 4, Jesus said in Matthew 6 paraphrased from The Message, “This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this: Our Father in heaven, reveal who you are. Set the world right; Do what’s best – as above, so below.”
We’ll be happier trusting His lead than trying hard to do what we think will make us happy.
In This Together,
FYI: I’m blogging my book titled On The Other Side of Trying Hard: Healing, Happiness, and Holiness. Because the blog posts will eventually be an entire manuscript instead of stand-alone stories, some posts may leave you hanging. I hope you’ll hang in here with us anyway ‘cause a happy ending is coming. Each blog post title includes the chapter title first. The phrase in parentheses is one subheading within the chapter. I’d love to hear your reflections, questions, and suggestions. I’m over-the-top grateful you’re here.