If happy means "joyful" or "content," yes.*
If happy means "having everything pleasant and comfortable," no.
Holiness, not happiness, is God's goal for us.
Unfortunately, a lust for happiness has infiltrated the Church and encouraged us to be anything but holy.
- Waste time.
- Buy things we don't need and can't afford.
- Mishandle responsibilities.
- Pamper and excuse our children's selfishness.
- Neglect the needs of others.
- Offer stingy gifts to God's work.
Today let's make God's happiness our goal:
"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship." Romans 12:1
*Biblical joy and contentment are not dependent on circumstances. That's why Paul can repeatedly talk about rejoicing while he is in prison (Philippians).
Holiness isn't a popular subject for most Christians because it means dealing deliberately and honestly with our sins and studying Scripture to find out what pleases the Lord. But holiness, not happiness, is God's goal for our earthly lives. We will have perfect happiness in heaven, but this life will be filled with challenges and refining fires.
1. We can experience true joy and contentment as long as we don't base these attitudes on our present circumstances.
Philippians 4:12-14: I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
1 Peter 1:3-9: Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
2. I encourage you to choose one of the verses below to memorize or read daily this week.
Hebrews 12:14: Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.
1Peter 1:15: But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do.
2 Timothy 1:9: He has saved us and called us to a holy life.
2 Peter 3:10-11: But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives.
After working through this study, read my insights HERE.
copyright 2013, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com
All Scripture NIV unless otherwise noted