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Does God want you to be happy?

Posted by truthtalklive on November 15, 2007

Here is a link to John Piper’s website: www.desiringgod.org

Recommended Reading: “God is the Gospel” written by John Piper


18 Responses to “Does God want you to be happy?”

  1. CarGuy37 said

    Hey Stu,

    I think that you’re invoking just as much confusion in Christian circles by substituting the word “happiness” with “joy” as you would by substituting the word “gay” for “happy” in secular circles. Happiness absolutely depends on circumstances. That’s why it shares the same root word as “happens” and “happenstance”. You yourself said that you wouldn’t be happy if someone you loved died. Is that Jesus’ fault, or is it the circumstances fault (not in a sovereign sense)?

    And in Gal 5, is happiness a fruit of the Spirit, or is it joy?

    To answer your question, God definitely wants us to be happy, but He doesn’t require it of us all the time. Remember that the sun rises on the just and the unjust, and rain falls on the saved and unsaved. Sounds circumstantial to me…

    Jonathan Edwards said that the fear of Hell is not the same as loving Jesus. That’s just loving Jesus for His gifts. The same could be said that the love of God’s gifts is not the same as loving God.

    God Bless!

  2. Anonymous said

    Well, the moderator doesn’t seem to have a sense of humor.

  3. Dot said

    Anonymous, how do you define “sense of humor”?

  4. Dot said

    I agree that happiness is based on circumstances, but you can have joy from the LOrd at any time, in any circumstance.

  5. Anonymous said

    Hey Dot! My post #2 was for the moderator who has seen fit to remove one of my posts on this thread. It was (I thought) an attempt at humor. I guess there is no room for humor in a thread about being happy. Oh, well!

    BTW, the secret to being happy is to be able to enjoy the passage of time. (who said that?)

  6. stu said

    I receive your point, and I especially like the Edwards quote. Not totally sure about your ‘happenstance’ issue—need to research that one some more—I’ve heard it before but never checked it out.

    Nonetheless, I think you halp make my case that happy can be a negative word among Christians today.
    The Websters Definition gives the word a range from ‘contentedness’ to fullfillment’ to ‘Joy’.
    I’m fine with Joy, and it’s biblical, but so is happy—-How do you take the word ‘Blessed’ ?
    Ps 1 and Mt 5 and many other places, lit means happy—-?

  7. Victor said

    As Stu mentioned in the program. It’s not (or at least shouldn’t be) an either or question. God wants us to be holy 1 Peter 1:13-16 “Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self–controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” Christians shouldn’t show that they’re holy and sanctified by the size of the droop on their faces making them look like they’ve been sucking on green persimmons. Nobody’s going to approach someone like that and say, “I want what you have.”
    I also believe that God wants us to experience joy. John 15:9-11, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” Gal. 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness and self–control.” Notice that happiness isn’t mentioned here. I believe that God is more concerned about us having the true fruit of the Spirit than if we’re momentarily happy. As was mentioned above; happiness is a state of mind linked to circumstances. ie: I won the lottery-Happy, Friends I haven’t seen in years are coming for a visit-Happy, ect… On the contrary: I lost my job-Not happy, I stubbed my toe on the brick hearth-Not happy, ect… Joy on the other hand is more of a state of being; it’s not dependent on outward circumstances. ie: Paul and Silas beaten, thrown in jail, feet in stocks and still sing praises to God. Why, because they had that Joy, joy, joy, joy down in their hearts. Where? Down in their hearts. (Sorry I couldn’t resist, but I think you can see my point). Jesus does the transformation on the inside of us. He gives us joy that the world (circumstances) can’t take away. James 1:2-4, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” Our hope and joy is in and through Him. Happiness is transient, but joy endures because it’s not based on a favorable environment, it’s based on the love, hope and Joy we have in Jesus and His finished work; the work He’s doing to renew us to be more like Himself. Also the fact that our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life and someday we’ll get to meet our Savior face to face. That makes me both happy and gives me joy!

  8. Moderator (not Stu) said

    Contrary to popular belief, the Moderator does, in fact, have a sense of humor. The only comments we delete here are those we deem obscene, personal attacks, threats, name calling and those containing links that we feel are inappropriate for this forum. Anonymous, your attempt at humor was none of these. My job is to moderate. Not tell jokes, but yes….I love a good one.

  9. Anonymous said

    Why then was my post deleted, if, as you say, it was neither obscene, nor did it include personal attacks, nor threats, nor name calling?

  10. Moderator said

    Hi Anonymous – We have experiences some hiccups with WordPress….nothing major. This has happened before. Please feel free to post your comment again as we try very hard to check every comment. Thanks.

  11. Anonymous said


  12. ADB said

    What I heard was really good. Some folks have talked semantics about defining happiness vs. joy, but I still think the overall point was valid. Too often Christians either look and sound really angry or like their favorite pet got run over. We talk about joy in the Lord, but often don’t seem to exhibit it. For example, for all the good his ministry does, how often does James Dobson sound happy/joyful? We could say the same for other prominent Christians on the airwaves. Christians could stand to remember Paul’s admonition about being content in all things, and to also become reaquainted with the Hebrew word “Shalom” which is not just peace in terms of absence of strife or conflict. Instead it really means wholeness and fullness. The completeness of Biblical shalom always comes from the Lord, never from good Dr. visits, good jobs, good 401-Ks, etc. contrary to Osteen and others.

  13. Mike Sears said

    ADB, I think you may be listening to more of what the media portrays about Dobson rather than listening for yourself to get that opinion of him. Sure he is outspoken regarding the overall moral condition of our society and gets pretty direct about certain issues. But if you listen to his program regularly, you can not help but to see the joy in this man’s heart and life despite the issues he stands against. I have shed more joyful tears listening to his program than any other. This man has an enormous heart for redemption as well as for the helpless in society. Just my 2 cents. Blessings!!

  14. impi said

    Show me wher ein the bible it states God wants you to be happy? This is a flase doctrine taught in churches and is the same excuse people use to divorce for example. They apply the logic, “oh well, I am not happy in my marriage, God does not want this for me, God does not intend for me to live this way, this marriage cannot be from God. Therefore I will divorce and seek the happiness God wants for me.” This is false teaching and will damn your soul to hell if you believe it.

    what makes one person “happy” may not make the next person “happy” It is a generic term and the root word is Happenstance or Lucky – does God want you to be lucky? Nonsense.

    What God does want is your obedience and this is reiterated throughout the bible. When you are in his will and obedient to his commands you will find the fullness of life – joy, peace, your purpose. Can one actually belive that thos who were martyred and lost their lives were “happy” wen they were been burnt to death?

    Believing God wants you to be happy is self-centredness, it take sth focus off God and placed it on yourself and your circumstances. Then your life is not anoubt God anymore, but about your self. Obedience and that is it. From this you wil lfind your purpose in life form that you will have all joy, peace and live a for-filled life.

  15. Maz said

    God wants to bless us but His will for our lives and His ways should never be measured on how much happiness I feel. We should never live by our feelings but by our faith.
    In some modern versions of the Bible the word ‘blessed’ has been translated ‘happy’, I’m not sure if this is a correct meaning.

    Ofcourse joy is something else. James says, ”Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing this, that the trial of your faith works patience.” Do we feel ‘happy’ when trials come? Not usually. But the joy of the Lord is our strength and is a far deeper experience than just a temporal feeling of happiness.

    So I would agree with you Impi.

  16. Barney said

    ” “oh well, I am not happy in my marriage, God does not want this for me, God does not intend for me to live this way, this marriage cannot be from God. Therefore I will divorce and seek the happiness God wants for me.” This is false teaching and will damn your soul to hell if you believe it.” – Impi

    That’s what John McCain did.

  17. Maz said

    I must admit reading Impi’s bit about ‘damn your soul to hell’ is a little OTT. Wrong teaching, unless it is foundational to salvation will not damn anyone to hell, only wrong teaching that denies Jesus as the Son of God, and His shed blood on Calvary and bodily resurrection. I don’t think any of us could boast that we have all our doctrines perfectly correct. There are many denominations in the Church of Christ that differ in many doctrines, and even whether God wants us happy or not, but only the foundational doctrines and teachings of the Triune Godhead and Jesus Christ the Eternal Son of God, the Only Savior of the world matter to our eternal destiny. We would not suggest that every other denomination but our own is ‘damned to hell’ because they have some Biblical teaching wrong.
    And I want to add, that Biblical teaching is important, and we need to study the Word to get it right for our own sakes.

  18. çocuk oyun…

    […]Does God want you to be happy? « Welcome to TruthTalkLive.com![…]…

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