Does God Care About My Happiness?

10, 12, 5, 3 … what do those numbers mean to me? Or to you? Nothing? Maybe 10 things that will improve your life! 12 steps to a slimmer waistline. 5 things you need to start doing NOW! 3 Easy ways to greater peace! Are these types of things in the Bible? Is God’s Word meant to be the greatest Self-Help book ever sold?

For many pastors, this has been the key to enlarging their audience. Feed them sermon series after sermon series on how to improve their lives … from the Bible!

They might have one on prayer that looks like, 6 ways prayer can strengthen your family life! Or maybe make you more effective at work. Or, this one: The Power of Prayer for Inner Healing!

It’s only funny because it’s true.

I’m not saying that these sermons, books and seminars don’t have some valid points. But, as you’ll notice me saying often, heresy isn’t determined by the ratio of truth to lie, but by the mere presence of the lie. It’s not about how much they get right, but the fact that they are leading people down the wrong path at all!

The wide, windy path American Christianity seems to have taken is one that centers on the Happy Life, here and now.

Unfortunately, that’s not God’s Word. Rather, God’s people are seldom “happy” in this world. They are sojourners, strangers and pilgrims. They’re hated, rejected and persecuted by this world.

Their joy was the hope, rooted in faith, that God had redeemed them from the destruction this rebel world deserves. This joy increases as one realizes the depth of their sinful flesh and the high cost that canceled our that debt.

God isn’t concerned with our happiness in this world, but rather our joy in Him, and our hopeful anticipation to be in His presence!


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4 Comments

  1. I agree–God is much more concerned with our spiritual well-being than our temporal happiness. But the fruit of the Spirit does include joy, and there is a blessed life for those who walk in the ways of God (Ps. 1, Jer. 17:7, Matt. 5). However, this blessedness is indeed a by-product of walking with God in trusting obedience; by no means is it the end-goal.

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    1. Yes! Some people differentiate between happiness and joy. The latter can be present with one who mourns, while the former is based on immediate circumstances. God’s blessing in our life when we walk in his ways is the assurance of our salvation, not material things. That said, if we work hard and follow His ways, we may have some material things too. But they will threaten our devotion to God. So, they aren’t a pure blessing that brings us closer to Him on their own merits.

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  2. “God’s people are seldom “happy” in this world. They are sojourners, strangers and pilgrims. They’re hated, rejected and persecuted by this world.”

    I’m reminded of the last temptation in the wilderness. Offering the entire world of you will merely bend the knee and worship the adversary. I really do think that has been the story of art least western Christianity. We have sold out the gospel for the power and comfort that the world can provide. So much so that the words of yours that I quoted above are hollow for many Christians. As far so I can tell, you are just as likely (if not more so) to be persecuted by the church than persecuted as the church.

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