Summary: The answer to the question: "does God want me to be happy?" is "yes" and "no."
E. Truth is – God wants you to be happy, but real happiness is the result of being right with God.
1. Real happiness doesn’t come from only experiencing good and easy things.
2. Real happiness doesn’t come from getting everything I want.
3. But when that’s how Christianity is imagined and presented, then we are set up for disaster.
4. If we are told that if we just come to God, then He will bless us with everything we want.
a. That everything will work out and we will always be happy.
b. That because God wants you to be happy, God only has good things in store for you.
5. If we are told that and we buy into that mindset, then we have reduced God to a celestial Santa Claus.
a. We have reduced the God of the universe to a cosmic Coke machine.
b. We put our spiritual quarters in, say our little prayer, and choose what we want by pressing the button, and we expect God to deliver.
6. And if what we pray for doesn’t come out of the slot, then we blame God, because there’s something wrong if God wants me happy, and yet I’m not.
F. Another way I see this misunderstanding about “God wants me to be happy” employed by people is when what they are doing is obviously wrong, but they use “God wants me to be happy” to justify their sin.
1. A husband moves in with a woman who is not his wife, and justifies it saying, “She makes me happy, and God wants me to be happy.”
2. A parent neglects their child in pursuit of their career or their recreation, and justifies it saying, “But this makes me happy, and God wants me to be happy.”
3 A young adult is caught up in sexual activity with the girlfriend or boyfriend, and justifies it saying, “But I love them, and they make me happy, and God wants me to be happy.”
4. A big justification today for same sex relationships includes the reasoning, “They love each other, and make each other happy, so what could be wrong with that?”
G. So, saying that God wants me to be happy, and therefore that gives me an excuse to do whatever I think will make me happy, is just wrong and sinful.
1. Does God want me to be happy? Yes.
2. Does God allow me to determine what makes for happiness? No.
3. If I really care about whether God wants me to be happy, then I will care about what kind of happiness God wants for me.
H. There are a lot of things we think will make us happy, but in the end they don’t.
1. We think that things will make us happy.
2. We think that pleasure-seeking will make us happy.
3. We think that revenge will make us happy. Revenge is sweet, right?
4. But whatever happiness that might be brought by any of these things is only temporary.
a. New things get old.
b. Pleasure is momentary.
c. The euphoria of revenge fades as we realize how we lowered ourselves to destroy another.
I. God’s definition of happiness is so different from ours.
1. The happiness of God is not like the highly elusive emotion that we often chase.
2. The happiness of God is not grounded in physical and material things.