“What God wants for us is happiness, joy, and freedom!” It was a passing comment made by a guest worship leader, not the main point of my pastor’s sermon, but it started me thinking: is that really accurate? Does God always want me to be happy? I’m not so sure.
I ‘ve got no problem with the joy and freedom part. Joy is certainly one of the fruits of the Spirit, and Christ clearly came to set us free from the curse of sin and death. However, I don’t think that happiness is God’s top priority for me. At least not yet.
I typically associate happiness with being in a good mood, having pleasant circumstances, and feeling physically and financially comfortable. God does provide those things, quite often. Every good and perfect gift comes from Him. However, I think His top priority for my life right now is not happiness, but fruitfulness.
He is willing to suspend my happiness on a temporary basis, if that will enable me to become more fruitful for His kingdom. Unless I keep that fact constantly in mind, when unpleasant circumstances and bleak moods descend, I will be tempted to conclude that God has abandoned me. During those seasons of unhappiness, He’s actually quite near. He’s working in ways I don’t fully understand to strengthen my faith.
Some day, when I see Him face to face, and the trials of this life are over, I will enter the eternal happiness of His presence. Until then, I need to align my priorities with His. I need to stop worrying so much about my immediate happiness and learn to zealously pursue fruitfulness, instead.
“You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11