Part 1 of 4 – God Never Said That… Series
Psalm 97:12 (TLB) May all who are godly be happy…
Many people today believe that God’s ultimate goal is to make us happy. This is especially popular in America today where we have a strong sense of entitlement throughout our society. Here’s how this thinking goes:
- Whatever makes me happy must be right. Whatever makes me unhappy must be wrong.
- Discomfort, delay, risk, suffering, inconveniences, and obstacles can’t be God’s will.
- Without knowing it, I begin to worship the false gods of comfort, money, pleasure, and things.
The problem with this theology is that it often gives us permission to do things that dishonor God and even damage relationships with others. That’s not right. There are at least two times when you can be sure that God doesn’t want you to be happy:
God doesn’t want you happy when it causes you to do something wrong or unwise
God calls us to holiness, not to happiness. He wants us to honor Him with our daily choices and overall lifestyle. According to the Bible, there is right and wrong. And when something is wrong (or simply stupid), God says “don’t do it” – even if it was making us happy.
1 Peter 1:14-16 So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.”
God doesn’t want you happy when it’s only based on things of this world
Followers of Jesus have a different view of things than everyone else. We know there is more to this life than the here and now. So lusting after what this world offers – and seeking to find total fulfillment and happiness in it – is idolatry. And God doesn’t want us to worship idols.
1 John 2:15-17 Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.
Truth is, God wants you blessed
The biblical word “makarios” means “supremely blessed” or “more than happy”. This is God’s goal for us, even when things aren’t going the way you want them to go. God’s desire is to make us holy, not just temporarily happy. True happiness is a “blessed” life, and it only comes when we seek God first, above all else.
Psalm 37:4 (ESV) Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 97:12 (NLT) May all who are godly be happy in the Lord and praise his holy name!
Adapted from Lifechurch.com and PursueGod.com
Talk About It…
- What are your first thoughts regarding today’s topic? Please share with the group.
- What does culture say we need in order to be happy? Make a list. Which of those things do you have right now? Are you happy?
- Read Proverbs 14:12. Think of a time you did something wrong or unwise in your pursuit of happiness. Are you currently being tempted to do something like that?
- Read 1 John 2:15-17. What do you think cravings for “physical pleasure” is referring to? What about craving for “everything we see”? Give an example of “pride in our accomplishments and achievements”.
- Describe the difference between “supremely blessed” and “temporarily happy”. Do you know people who fit these two categories? Which category are you in? Explain.
- Is there anything in today’s topic that you would be excited to share with a friend?