Does God Make You Happy? Not Necessarily

It Depends On Your Definition of Happiness

“We equate comfort with happiness. And now we’re so comfortable we’re miserable.”

Sometimes I hear sweet little people say naïve little things like, “Oh, just do God’s will and you’ll be so haaapppy!”

I say to myself, “There’s someone who has never tried to do God’s will.”

I don’t think we should seek sufferings. We should seek to do God’s will. But, that will complicate our lives, yes it will. Read Paul’s testimony in 2 Corinthians 11:22-29 to see if “happy in God’s will” means a sweet, easy life.

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (Rom. 8:18, NKJV)

Obeying God will complicate your life. Yes, you’ll be happy as you obey Him in faith, but there’s nothing easy about it. His will is well worth it, though. That’s where the richness hides, serving Him with your whole heart.

An easy life is rarely a really happy life. We’re made for the arena, not the sofa.

I love (and fear) this quote by Dean Karnazes, an ultra-runner. “Western culture has things a little backwards right now. We think that if we had every comfort available to us, we’d be happy. We equate comfort with happiness. And now we’re so comfortable we’re miserable. There’s no struggle in our lives. No sense of adventure.

“We get in a car, we get in an elevator, it all comes easy. What I’ve found is that I’m never more alive than when I’m pushing and I’m in pain, and I’m struggling for high achievement, and in that struggle I think there’s a magic.” Ultra-runner Dean Karnazes in Outside Magazine.

Runners struggle and hurt to win an earthly trophy but we’re after something much more fulfilling and long-lasting than that. We’ve made the best trade of our existence! Some suffering now—incredible glory later (8:18).

C. S. Lewis says, “The real problem is not why some pious, humble, believing people suffer, but why some do not.”

We’re Not Masochists

We’re not masochists who love pain. There’s no magic there. Pain itself isn’t the goal. The magic is the vision of the glory that’s just ahead for those who love Him and obey Him.

This hope of glory keeps our legs pumping in life when our lungs burn and our legs feel like lead.

And note: the glory is already in us now (8:18); it will be revealed to others later. So, even now, the glory in us is greater than our sufferings.

In reality the glory in us is Christ. His Spirit gives us the power to keep racing.

So, sometimes we leave our favorite television show to go to God’s house to encourage other Christians and be built up ourselves.

Sometimes we give to help others and to see the Gospel proclaimed instead of buying ourselves something bigger and prettier and more prestigious.

We do without a little sleep or find a way to slip away from our friends at noon, in order to strengthen ourselves in His Word and by praying.

We find ourselves doing things and going places which sure don’t seem the easiest choice because we believe it’s God’s will and we serve Him above all other things.

We speak up (respecting the other person) and risk ridicule to speak for the Lord Jesus. Someone might make fun of us in the short run, but in the long run we know it’s heaven or hell for the person we’re trying to win.

What are you doing at that nursing home volunteering? Don’t you know that “Days of Our Nights » is on television?

Are you struggling mightily to stay on the couch of the easy life? Or maybe you’re patiently running God’s race–lungs bursting, legs of lead.

We don’t go seeking pain–that’s stupid and masochistic. But, when we take back territory from the enemy we know we’re picking a fight.

The joy goes to the running Christian.


Hmmm …

“Merely looking at something almost never causes change. Tourism is fun, but rarely transformative. If it was easy, you would have already achieved the change you seek. Change comes from new habits …”

Seth Godin


Did You Know?

Coffee Stains Is (More or less) daily on Facebook

Recent devotionals:

Fasting? Ouch! (6:17, 18)

Let me say it up front: I don’t particularly like to fast. I like to eat.

A Power-packed Prayer That Gets Rewarded

So Jesus gives us an example of how to pray. I’m not sure it would impress a lot of people in the prayer meeting but praying like this gets a reward.

Are You Wasting Your Time With Your Prayers? Maybe (Matt. 6:5-14)

If you poll Christians on what they think is the most important part of Christian life, prayer would finish first or near first.

If you poll Christians on the part of their devotional life that frustrates them the most, the answer would be prayer.

What’s In It For Me?(Chapt. 6)

Lots of really spiritual people stick up their nose at the idea of getting rewarded for doing the right thing. They’re above all that.

Not me.

And lots more. Click this link:

(Images: skeeze; Stevebidmead)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *