Sunday, April 15, 2012

Does God Want Us To Be Happy?

Published in the Charleston Gazette on Sunday, April 15, 2012~

Sometimes the good in my life seems hard to grasp. Dark clouds cover the sun for too many days and I feel I’ve lost my way for a while. But when I remember that I am a child of God and that He is always with me, things begin to change. As I stand firm in faith, light penetrates the darkness and I am lifted up! I see, hear, touch and taste the blessings of my life: I see young children playing happily, and hear the gurgle of a newborn baby; I touch the hand of a loved one, taste a mouth-watering meal and am reminded that my life is filled with joy every day.

When circumstances dishearten us and fear forces joy and courage from our hearts, we have only to reach out to God. He is always there to give us the help we need – if we ask.

According to the Bible, if we seek God and His plan for our lives, we will find happiness. In other words, happiness does not come from seeking it, but by seeking Him. The implication is if we search for God, happiness will follow. God created us to rely on Him and find our fulfillment, our contentment and our delight in a relationship with him.

C.S. Lewis put it this way: “God made us: invented us as a man invents an engine. A car is made to run on petrol, and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other. That is why it is just no good asking God to make us happy in our own way without bothering about religion. God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there.” Mere Christianity~

God wants us to be happy, but that does not mean He desires health, wealth, and good fortune for our life. Nor does it mean that He wants us to have a problem free life. The world associates good circumstances with happiness. God, in contrast, wants us to find happiness in every circumstance of life. But God’s Word does not promise us happy circumstances. True happiness lies in being content in God’s plan for our life.

If you are not a child of God, living your life according to His will, whatever happiness you realize is “of the world,” and is temporary. You may have power, money and fame, but none of it will matter unless you have a relationship with God. Your significant other, just like you, will gradually grow older losing his/her physical beauty and faculties. Eventually, one of you will depart this world, leaving the other to carry on alone. Your children will grow up and leave you to make lives of their own. Nothing stays the same.

The only thing that never changes is your relationship with God. This is where true happiness and contentment begin.

“Happy are the people whose God is the Lord!” (Psalm 144:15 NKJV).