If we’ve heard this phrase once, we’ve heard it a million times. Usually it’s a husband or wife who wants out of their marriage. We have, however, heard it from people not happy in their jobs, their family, their church, their neighborhood, etc. You get the picture.
Joe and I have read the bible a number of times, and have yet to find where God talks about making us happy and/or where He even says it’s His responsibility to make us happy.
The only verse that comes close to something about God making us happy I found in Job 5:17, “Therefore happy is the man whom God corrects, so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.” If you’re so inclined, reading to the end of that chapter is quite eye-opening. What this is telling me is that it’s through God’s correction and discipline that we will be “happy” (i.e. find happiness.)
So, I’m just curious. If we took out the word HAPPY and inserted the word HOLY to our various scenarios, sentences, and conversations, I wonder how it would sound. Gary Thomas, one of my favorite authors, has suggested in his writings that God’s real desire for us is to be holy. Holy doesn’t always equate to happiness, but it can lead to joy; joy in knowing that we are living well, serving well, acting well, etc.
So let’s try it and see how it sounds: Instead of “God wants me to be happy in life;” we would say, “God wants me to be holy in life.” “God wants me to be holy in my marriage.” “God wants me to be holy at my workplace.” Wow! That sounds different! And how different our lives could be if we started doing this!
Perhaps we’ll all try this exercise the next time we feel we deserve something more, better, and/or exciting. Perhaps we’ll please God (make HIM happy!) by doing so!