God is eternally happy. Over the past few days, we have been learning about the reality of God’s happiness and the reasons for God’s happiness. We conclude this brief study by focusing on our response to this happy God.
The Response to our Happy God
I’m convinced that one of the biggest reasons that many followers of Christ are unhappy is that they fail to realize and embrace the biblical reality of God’s eternal happiness. Notice, then, four key responses to our happy God.
We model after God by striving for happiness
George Müller was a happy and contented Christian man. He impacted the city of London in unprecedented ways. He said:
There is no need, therefore, to choose between happiness and holiness. We need to forever ditch this notion that has been popularized in the church and Christian circles. “If you keep my commandments, says Jesus, “you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:10-11, ESV).
When you live a holy life, you will experience firsthand what it means to be a happy person when you find your happiness in Christ (Ps. 37:4). John Piper adds, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.” If we are called by God to reflect his glory, then it follows that we should be the happiest people on the planet. When we fail to be happy Christians, we misrepresent the God who is infinitely happy!
We have the privilege of joining in the same happiness that God enjoys
Moses asks God an important question that helps us understand the inner-workings of God: Moses said, “Please show me your glory.” And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The LORD.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy” (Exodus 33:18–19, ESV).
Daniel Fuller adds, “God’s glory consists in his goodness, that is, that he alone is both able and disposed to bring people made in his image, into the ultimate happiness of sharing with in his delight in his glory.”2
We find happiness by delighting in God and the gospel of his Son
When we consider what God has delivered us from, the sin that Christ has saved us from and the inheritance that is our in Christ, we will overflow with gratitude and happiness. “Our eternal joy will flourish,” writes Tony Reinke, “when we are the objects of God’s sovereign grace.”3
Randy Alcorn beautifully describes this blessing in his book, Happiness”4
- Happy are those who believe in Jesus.
- Happy are those facing trials for Jesus’ sake.
- Happy are those who see and hear Jesus for who he is.
- Happy are those who serve God faithfully.
- Happy are those who trust God’s promises.
- Happy are those who obey God’s Word.
- Happy are those who help and serve others.
- Happy are those who have been forgiven by the Lord.
- Happy are those who see unhappiness as a warning sign.
- Happy are those who are prepared for Christ’s return.
- Happy are those who will spend eternity with God.
- Happy are those who are also holy.
To the extent that we fail to find our happiness in God, we fail to glorify him. “Because you did not serve the LORD your God with joyfulness and gladness of heart, because of the abundance of all things …” (Deut. 28:47, ESV). Indeed, the joy of the Lord is our strength (Neh. 8:10).
The Scriptures are packed with commands to rest in and find our joy in our sovereign LORD:
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice, and let them say among the nations, “The LORD reigns!” (I Chron. 16:31).
Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart! (Ps. 32:11).
Shout for joy in the LORD, O you righteous! Praise benefits the upright (Ps. 33:1).
Let the righteous one rejoice in the LORD and take refuge in him! Let all the upright in heart exult! (Ps. 64:10).
Oh, come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! (Ps. 95:1).
Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God (Rom. 5:2).
Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To writes the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you (Phil. 3:1).
Happy are those who believe the gospel. Spurgeon reminds us of this great reality:
Where do we receive our joy? From our God who is a happy Sovereign. Where do we rest and find refuge? From our God who is a happy Sovereign. Where do we turn to for the most satisfying relationship, one that can never be severed? From our God who is a happy Sovereign. Where do we turn to for freedom and forgiveness from all our sins? From our God who is a happy Sovereign.
““Everything hangs on the unbounded joy in the triune God from all eternity. This is the source of God’s absolute self-sufficiency as a happy Sovereign. And every true act of free grace in redemptive history depends on it.”6 May we cling to and trust in our God who is eternally happy.
- George Müller, cited in Randy Alcorn, Happiness, 225. ↩
- Daniel Fuller, The Unity of the Bible. ↩
- Tony Reinke, The Joy Project (Minneapolis: Desiring God, 2015), 8. ↩
- Randy Alcorn, Happiness, 203-208. ↩
- C.H. Spurgeon, cited in Randy Alcorn, Happiness, 119. ↩
- John PIper, The Pleasures of God, 35. ↩