Did you know that God commands us to be happy?
Did you know that God commands us to be happy?
"Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart" (Psalm 37:4)
1) GOD CREATED US FOR HIS GLORY
"Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth,... whom I created for my glory" (Isaiah 43:6-7).
Deep and lasting joy comes from being what we were created to be. And we were created to be mirrors of God's glory - to fill the earth with the light of his beauty by reflecting it to others. Therefore...
2) EVERY HUMAN SHOULD LIVE FOR GOD'S GLORY
"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God" (I Corinthians 10:31).
If God made us for his glory, it is clear that we should live for his glory. Our duty comes from his design. What does it mean to glorify God? It means that we love him (Matthew 22:37), trust him (Romans 4:20), are thankful to him (Psalm 50:23) and obey him (Matthew 5:16). Yet...
3) ALL OF US HAVE FAILED TO GLORIFY GOD AS WE SHOULD
"All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).
What does it mean to "fall short of the glory of God?" It means that none of us has trusted God the way we should. None of us has obeyed him the way we should. We have trusted ourselves. We have turned from his commandments. We thought we knew a better way. In Romans 1:22-23 it says, "Although they knew God they did not glorify him as God or give thanks to him...but exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images..." We are by nature children of wrath (Ephesians 2:3). As a result...
4) ALL OF US ARE SUBJECT TO GOD'S JUST CONDEMNATION
"The wages of sin is death..." (Romans 6:23).
We have held the glory of God in contempt. How? By our ingratitude, distrust and disobedience. So God is just in shutting us out from the enjoyment of his glory forever. "They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction and exclusion from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might" (II Thessalonians 1:9).
The word "hell" is used in the New Testament twelve times - eleven times by Jesus himself. It is not a myth created by dismal and angry preachers. It is a solemn warning from the Son of God who died to deliver sinners from its curse. We ignore it at great risk.
If the Bible stopped here in its analysis of the human condition, we would be doomed to a hopeless future. However, this is not where it stops...
5) GOD SENT HIS ONLY SON JESUS TO PROVIDE ETERNAL LIFE
"Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners..." (I Timothy 1:15).
The Good news is that Christ died for sinners like us. This means God can acquit guilty sinners and still be just (Romans 3:25-26). "For Christ died for sins once and for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring us to God" (I Peter 3:18).
6) THE BENEFITS PURCHASED BY THE DEATH OF CHRIST BELONG TO THOSE WHO REPENT AND TRUST HIM
"Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out" (Acts 3:19). "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved" (Acts 16:31).
The word "repent"means to turn away from all sin and come to God in faith. "Faith" means banking your hope on Jesus Christ to satisfy all the needs of your heart. "He who believes in me shall never thirst" (John 6:35). It means trusting God for all that he is - especially as Savior from sin and Guide to joy. This means that faith will produce the obedience of faith. If you trust your Physician you take his prescriptions. And in the act of trust God gets the honor and you get the joy. Everlasting joy, even through death.
DOES THIS MAKE SENSE TO YOU?
Do you desire the kind of happiness God gives - the kind that gladly gives him glory? If so, then God is at work in your heart.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
Repent of your sin. Call upon the Lord Jesus to save you. "All who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved" (Romans 10:13). Start banking your hope on Jesus for guidance into joy. Trust that he knows what he is talking about even when it seems hard. Begin reading the Bible to find his promises and instruction. Take all your needs to him in prayer. Find a Bible-believeing church and begin to worship and grow with other people who trust Christ.
The best news in the world is that there is no necessary conflict between our happiness and God's holiness. Trusting God for everything brings him honor and us happiness. God's purpose to be glorified and our longing to be satisfied succeed together.
"You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand (Psalm 16:11)."
from Quest for Joy by John Piper