Does God Want Us to be Happy?

People often try to excuse sin by saying, “I just think God would want me to be happy.” The reasoning is that is a certain behavior makes one happy, God must accept it, no matter what the Bible says, so we should accept the behavior too. We must ask the question: Does God want us to be happy? The answer must come from the Bible, not our emotions.

God Does Want Us to be Happy

  • The psalms repeatedly call for God’s people to rejoice (Psalm 32:11; 40:16; 70:4; 118:24) – also calls to rejoice in the NT (Philippians 3:1; 4:4; 1 Thessalonians 5:16; Romans 12:15)
  • The words of Christ should lead to joy (John 15:11) – joy comes from the preaching of the gospel (1 John 1:4; 2 John 12; 2 Corinthians 1:24)
  • The early Christians gathered together in gladness (Acts 2:46) – God’s blessings should produce gladness as well (Acts 14:17)
  • One who is reproved by God ought to be happy (Job 5:17) – this should tell us that we need to be sure we define “happiness” properly

But… God Wants Us to Avoid Sin

  • People often say, “I just think God wants me to be happy,” as a way to excuse sin that the Scriptures plainly condemn – homosexuality / same-sex “marriage” (Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 1 Timothy 1:10); adulterous marriages (Matthew 19:4-6, 9; Romans 7:2-3); social drinking (1 Peter 4:3); etc.
  • Where do we draw the line? … Homosexuality is a new example – what else will we be pressured to accept for the sake of “happiness”? (polygamy? pedophilia?)
  • God calls us to repentance (Acts 17:30) – we are to work to overcome sin (1 John 2:1), not be content in it

The Passing Pleasures of Sin

  • The Scriptures do not deny that there is some pleasure involved in sin – but whatever pleasure there is, it is only temporary
  • Example of Moses (Hebrews 11:24-26) – happiness & reward of God is far greater than the temporary pleasures of sin
  • Just because sin may produce momentary pleasure, that does not mean if offers real happiness – sin will ultimately be punished (Romans 6:23); but there are also negative consequences for sin in this life (Proverbs 13:15)

True Happiness

  • Blessed are those who display the character of a disciple (Matthew 5:3-12)
  • Blessed are those whose sins are forgiven (Romans 4:7)
  • Blessed are those who suffer for the sake of righteousness (1 Peter 3:14)
  • Blessed are those who die in the Lord (Revelation 14:13)
  • Blessed are those who wash their robes / keep His commandments (Revelation 22:14)
  • Happy (blessed) because of the reward of heaven

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