Does God Want Me To Be Happy?

“God just wants me to be happy! If nothing else, God just wants me to be happy.” These phrases are very popular, and they are repeated across many social and religious realms of western culture. Perhaps some of you have uttered this phrase in the past to some of your friends or family members. The word “happy”may be defined in the following way: Enjoying or characterized by well-being and contentment; pleasure. For our purposes in this article, that definition will be essential. Almost 99.9% of the times this phrase is used, it speaks of physical pleasure or the state of being satisfied in the flesh. I want to tell you friends, this is simply not found in the scriptures. The idea of my happiness being God’s number one concern for my life and my future is a myth. It’s the devil’s message. Here’s a couple things to consider:

1. God’s primary concern is not with our physical contentment – I myself have heard the phrase used several times of instances where people (even brethren) are seeking to justify their sinful desires. I once heard of a situation where a preacher left his wife for another woman simply because he didn’t feel satisfied in his previous marriage and he felt that he needed to move on to another to seek that satisfaction. When a caring brother tried to correct him, his response was: “Well I think God wants me to be happy.” I’m sure you may have heard of similar situations but the bottom-line is that our Creator and Redeemer is not as concerned with our physical satisfaction as we think He is. I’m not saying that we are not to pray for the health of our brothers and sisters in Christ or for good outcomes in our physical lives, but we are not to think that this is our Lord’s priority. His primary concern is our soul (cf. Matt. 11:28-30). He is most certainly angered when we think we can justify our physical desires with the idea that He just wants us to be happy. Nothing could be further from the truth.

2. Our spiritual well-being will always exceed physical commodities – Now, allow me to answer our question from this standpoint: God does want me to be content. He wants me to have joy and peace and satisfaction. However, none of these things can be achieved outside of Him. This is why that definition of “happy”was important. Many people spend their entire lives looking for happiness or shall we say contentment and joy in places where it will not be found. They may turn to drugs, alcohol, money, sexual immorality, entertainment, food and many other such things to have a “happy” life. The question is: At what point in the course of life do people become happy with such things? Well they don’t. Instead they find misery, discomfort, pain and suffering. And that’s not to say the Christian is exempt from these things. We aren’t. But we do, however, find contentment and joy in Jesus Christ (cf. Phil. 4:4-13). It is in Him we begin to learn that physical commodities and temporal contentment are not nearly as important the spiritual reality of an eternal hope. That is what real happiness is. Being in the presence of our Lord and Savior forever and ever. 

The prophet Moses understood that the passing pleasures of sin was not worth it (cf. Heb. 11:24-26). He gave up the opportunity to be “happy” so he could suffer to obtain an eternal inheritance. In the eyes of many people that seems foolish. But from God’s standpoint and the spiritual view of things, Moses was one step closer to divine happiness and true contentment. The scriptures teach that the happy man or the man who is blessed is He who seeks God and abides in His will (cf. Psa. 1:1-3; Jer. 17:7-8). So, if someone were to say God wants me to be happy, I would say God wants us to be saved first and foremost! It is through our decision to be saved we will ultimately be content and joyful in the end.