Trusting God with your happiness, sadly that’s a somewhat controversial statement to make. I can hear the opposition already, God doesn’t make us happy! We can have some “joy” in the Lord, but “happy” is just a selfish word! God doesn’t care if we’re happy, it’s all about the suffering! If you’re happy, you’re probably doing Christian all wrong!
Even CS Lewis said, “I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that.”
And who do I myself like to pick on the most? Joel Osteen, “the happy preacher.” I don’t feel bad about that, there’s some big issues there, kind of like sharing a cake recipe with people and forgetting to tell them it needs 3 eggs. How can you expect anyone to actually produce a cake if you don’t explain about the importance of the eggs? Also, those of us who have to deal with the world’s woe, those of us facing hard times, really resent happiness lectures from the well off and affluent. Just be happy! Trust in the Lord’s favor and He’ll bless you with a private jet, too! Well sheesh Joel, why didn’t I think of that?? I’ll just click my heels together 3 times and say, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home…..
Although it kills me to say this, I think happiness preachers like Osteen do serve a vital purpose in the world. They provide some balance to the vale of tears crowd, the ones who see you smile and grow suspicious…
Yesterday a sweet little gal who’s really been slammed by life’s train coming down the tracks told me, “every day is a good day. I’m always happy.” Amen! What a blessing she was to me, because yesterday I was not happy, yesterday my eyes were on everything but the Lord. She was the epitome of the Apostle Paul’s words, of learning how to be content in all things, “I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.” -Philippians 4:12
That right there is ministry. That gal did what I call standing in the Lord and letting your light shine. That’s all I needed, just to see someone’s candle lit. Trust me, there’s a whole lot of dim bulbs in the world, so when your porch light is on, it makes all the difference in the world.
I think one issue with happiness is that we people can be really lousy at understanding what is going to make us happy long range. We’re pretty good at understanding what will make us happy five minutes from now, but beyond that things get all murky. Yesterday I had a banana split, absolutely something to make me happy and yet about an hour later I had a banana split hangover and was wondering, whatever was I thinking?
One thing I can say, my husband is so lucky he’s not a banana split! Downright fickle, I tell ya! Yes I loved you, but that was an hour ago…..But we people do exactly that, we treat one another as, “now you make me happy, now you don’t.” People don’t make us happy at all, in fact, if you’re putting people in charge of your happiness, that’s the fastest path to misery.
However, I have to put my foot down here and say, God wants us content, prosperous, joyful, happy. That is our Father’s heart for us. To say otherwise is to portray and perceive God as somewhat cruel and disinterested in our well-being. If we are unhappy the error is not on God’s end, it’s on ours. How tragic it is to hear people say, “God is just all about making us suffer.” That is not the God I know. The God I know had Paul chained to a wall in prison singing praises and rejoicing. Consider it all joy….
Something I have had to learn, how to trust that God wants me happy and how to trust that His wisdom on how to get there long range, is far superior to mine. Even the Apostle Paul says, rejoice! And again I say rejoice!
Heh, happiness heresy to some I’m sure, but it is what it is.