"It might seem crazy what I'm 'bout to saySunshine she's here, you can take a break I'm a hot air balloon that could go to space With the air, like I don't care baby by the way
Because I'm Happy...
...Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth"
This song by Pharrell Williams is a pretty catchy tune. I can't hardly NOT clap along (click the link & take a listen while you read...it's almost infectious).
It might seem crazy what I'm 'bout to say...
Not that God doesn't want His children to be happy, but our happiness is not God's highest priority.
Not even close.
There are many things God wants for us more than being happy.
God desires obedience from us (1 Samuel 15:22) - and despises our sacrifices to Him when we are not obedient (Amos 5:18-24). In fact, it would seem He's more pleased with brokenness than happiness (Psalm 51:17).
He has good plans for us (Jeremiah 29:11), but those plans might include some pretty humiliating circumstances - as was the case for the Israelites who were in captivity when God declared His good plans to Jeremiah. I'm thinking they weren't really too happy.
And He promises to work everything for good, for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes (Romans 8:28). But "everything" could include suffering, groaning, weakness and pain (Romans 8:18-27).
He even promises blessing to those who are faithful, and who persevere under trial (James 1:12) - but typically those blessings are more heavenly in nature than earthly. And yeah, to persevere under trial, that means there would be, well...trial. I don't know too many people who can be happy in the midst of trial.
Isn't my marriage supposed to make me happy?
I wrote in a previous blog, I Deserve It, that the enemy has a small bag of tricks that he just keeps using over and over - because they work. They are lies he uses to confuse. And then with them he will steal our passion, kill our commitment, and destroy our lives and legacies. That's what he is here to do.
Too many marriages end up in crisis or destroyed altogether because of this lie that "God wants me to be happy." This becomes justification for all sorts of behavior that is clearly against scriptural teaching, clearly not in the best interest of the marriage. Sherry Jennings writes about God's purposes for marriage very well in her blog titled "Isn't marriage supposed to make me happy?"
Paul David Tripp recently came through where I work and shared a morning devotion with us. Now there's a man who can rightly divide the Word of Truth in such a way that you're likely to have an "Ah Ha!" and a "Duh" moment simultaneously! Or at least that was my response. During his time sharing with us, Paul taught from Mark 6:45-52 to explain some pretty cool truths. He shared how Christ will "take us where we don't choose to go in order to produce in us what we cannot achieve on our own." If you take me where I don't wanna go, I'm not likely to be very happy about it. But according to Tripp, when Jesus does that to His followers, that's what the Bible calls grace.
Not the grace of release or relief, but the grace of refinement.
Have you ever heard it stated that way? Paul said this form of "uncomfortable grace" is a sure sign of God's redemptive love. He also said something I've often stated - we give the enemy too much credit. Much of what we experience - the difficulties as we see them - are gifts from a glorious God, and are His evidence of grace in our lives. Not some punishment or attack of the enemy at all. But are they designed to make us happy? I don't think so. They're designed, as Paul says, to refine us. Or in other words, to make us holy.
And that's just what scripture confirms in 1 Peter 1:13-16.
But I guess maybe that doesn't fit so well into a catchy tune...not that there's necessarily anything wrong with a catchy tune. Or being happy.
Sing it with me now!
Clap along if you feel holiness is the truth... Because He's holy...
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