God just wants me to be happy.
Is happiness really the greatest good in the world? Statements like “Happy wife, happy life” and “The ultimate goal of life is the pursuit of happiness” have been staples in our society for as long as I can remember. But is that what God’s main priority for our lives is—to just be happy?
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not anti-happy. I’m a big fan of healthy happiness. What I’m talking about is the world’s definition of happiness or, even more relevant to each of us, our own view of happiness. The world’s idea of happiness is directly tied to circumstances. If our circumstances are favorable, then we’re happy. If not, then we’re not.
But here’s the deal: our circumstances change all the time. Many of us allow these vacillating circumstances to dictate our happiness. It’s an extremely dangerous scenario when outward forces control our inward feelings.
Does God have something more in store for you and me than just happiness? Here is the wonderful answer to that good question. Three little letters: J-O-Y. God desires that you and I experience joy—that settled state of contentment, confidence, and hope that comes only from trusting Him.
This beautiful truth is yet another indication of why joy is truly greater than happiness. Joy is not built on outward circumstances, but on Christ dwelling inside believers. If the Spirit of Christ is always inside me and will never leave me, then my joy will never leave me. No matter what I go through, I can have joy because my God is with me. Good days— joy. Bad days—joy. Suffering—joy. When everything goes my way—joy. When nothing goes my way—joy. My joy remains because my Christ remains.
Questions for Reflection:
What are the differences between the world’s definition of happiness and the Bible’s definition of joy?
In what specific time in your life did your circumstances dictate your happiness? How would focusing on joy have been more helpful during that time?
The world’s definition of happiness is often dictated by circumstances, but biblical joy is built on a person named Jesus.