Religious folks got their sensibilities stepped upon by #VictoriaOsteen’s remarks this week. Truth is, GOD WANTS YOU HAPPY!
So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full (John 16:22-24)
There are some folks – some well meaning; some not – who suppose the Christian life is one of sadness and sorrow. That it is all suffering and persecution until that glorious day when we see Jesus face-to-face.
We try to be good parents. We want our kids to have all their needs met and their desires fulfilled. It is God’s desire to meet our needs and fulfill our desires, as well. Another thing, in most cases, happy parents produce happy kids. Why? Because happiness is contagious.
And God is a happy God.
God is a good parent who wants happy kids. Not a stern taskmaster who wants His people to be religious robots.
Good parents are happy when their kids are happy! God is no different.
But you need to know that – from the very beginning – God had happiness on His mind.
In the Garden of Eden, God created things for man’s benefit and called them good. Then He created man and called everything VERY good. The very good was because God had made an earthly copy of Himself.
Adam was God’s first “selfie;” Jesus was His best! We are all God’s “selfies” re-created in the image of Jesus!
God made us HOLY…
Unfortunately, many people misunderstand what that means. It means you are…
SANCTIFIED and CLEAN
But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. (John 17:15-23)
WHOLE and COMPLETE
For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. (Colossians 2:9-10)
Because God wants us HAPPY
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)
Everyone Jesus made WHOLE went away HAPPY
One cleansed leper went away whole and happy… (Luke 17:15-19)
Jairus (Luke 8:56) and an unnamed widow (Luke 7:13-16) were happy their children were raised from the dead
Two blind men were happy they received their sight (Mark 10:50-52, John 9:25)
WHOLE and HAPPY was God’s intent for His children in both creation and redemption.
In the Garden, He gave us everything needed pertaining to life and happiness; in redemption, He gave us His own Spirit and everything pertaining to life and godliness
Saints are made WHOLE (holy) through right standing (RIGHTEOUSNESS) in Christ
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Jesus is the express image (or carbon-copy) of the Father (Hebrews 1:3). Jesus said if you see Him, you see the father (John 14:7).
Jesus is God’s second “selfie!” And what He did through Jesus was to join these “selfies” together to make one complete image.
We are complete in Him!
In the Old Testament, the people were given the command to be holy, for God is holy (Leviticus 11:44-45)…
In the New Testament, we are told we ARE holy because God is holy (1 Peter 1:16)
Bottom line: The cliché, “God wants us holy, not happy” is found nowhere in Scripture!
People who misunderstand holiness usually lack happiness. This is why there is so much unhappiness in church and why a lot of people don’t want to come to church.
One more thing to know – worship is a byproduct of relationship, not vice-versa. We worship God because of the relationship we have with him. If we don’t have relationship, we don’t have authentic worship!
Contrary to what Jonathan Edwards preached over 200 years ago, we are not “sinners in the hands of an angry God, we are saints in the arms of a happy God!”
God is well pleased with Jesus and, since we are in Him, He is well pleased with us!
Here’s the too-good-to-be-true-news: God is not angry with us – He’s happy with us because He’s happy with Jesus. He’s not angry with us and He will never be!
© 2014 – Derrick Day (www.derrickday.com)