I believe everyone is seeking and wanting joy and happiness. This desire is inherent as all of us. Some think that financial success will give it to them. Others feel that fame or athletic accomplishment will. Others believe power and control, or being better than others will provide it. But no matter what it is, everyone is looking for it.
Is there anything wrong with wanting joy and happiness?
I don’t believe there is. In fact, I believe everyone can have joy and happiness. It’s just a matter of where we look for it and where we get it from. It seems these two things are fleeting at times, and that people will do anything to have this inward desire satisfied. Over and over again it’s the things we reach for cannot for fill this deep yearning.
This is where Jesus comes in.
It’s my belief that God is the giver of joy and happiness to His people. We know that happiness is circumstantial, and that it can change from day today. Yet, He still gives happiness to His people. Joy is different from happiness. It is not based on circumstance, rather it is based on our position in Jesus. It’s important to note that God does give joy and happiness to His people. They are not wrong, and they are a part of our faith.
The weird thing about joy and happiness is that Christians seem to think that it’s wrong, and that if someone preaches that we can have them, it’s a “watered-down gospel.” This puzzles me. It’s almost as if many Christians believe that the more you suffer and the more pain you have the more holy you are. But that mindset has been repeated for generations by those thinking that beauty was wrong. And we know that’s not true. These ideas are similar and parallel with one another, and yet I believe they rob us of an expression that God wants to give.
You see, God wants His people excited, enthusiastic, full of joy and happiness, and taking life by storm. There is great power when you and I have joy and happiness. If you think about it, it stirs our faith, it builds us up, it gives us courage, it invigorates our heart to believe.
The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 2:26: “To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.”
Notice that as we please God He gives us happiness. Other versions say joy. God gives us freely His kingdom, and it’s His good pleasure to do so. This speaks to me that as we walk with Him, He will do what we can’t do. He will give what we don’t have. He will fill up what is not full. This is the grace in the mercy of Jesus.
There is nothing wrong with our faith when living in joy and happiness. Now we know that life has ebbs and flows that there will be good times and bad times. We know there will be challenges but we also know that God delivers us out of all our trouble. We shouldn’t reject the idea of joy and happiness from our lives based on a religious ideology. This is a mistake, and it’s not experiencing God to His fullest.
God is interested in every detail of our lives, and He wants us to fulfill His purpose. This is not about me and you, this is about God. And yet as we serve God, He will reward us for diligently seeking Him. So this idea in the gospel is not a selfish one, but rather God’s heart to give us joy and happiness.
You and I do not have to live our lives under the shadow of shame, sadness, guilt or heaviness. It’s not wrong to face those things, but we don’t have to live under those things. Jesus has come to set us free, He has come to give us life and His life more abundantly. I believe we can have joy and happiness not from circumstance but from our salvation in Him. We have the promise of eternal life and we have the promise of His goodness in this life. This is our hope, this is our promise, and this is our reality in Jesus.
I encourage you, no matter what you are facing, to believe that God will give you joy and happiness. The verse I gave today gives the promise: as we please Him, He gives us multiple things but two of them are joy and happiness. Don’t let this be weird, but let it be normal part of the expression of our faith.
I pray you have joy and happiness like never before. May the Lord bless you and may his spirit invigorate you more and more.
The best is yet to come,