God Makes Us Happy
Psalm 144:15 closes with these joyful words: “Happy are the people whose God is the Lord!” (NKJV). Some versions read “blessed” instead of “happy,” but the KJV, NKJV, and RSV translate the Greek word (from the Old Testament Septuagint) makarios “happy.” In this verse “happy” is a better translation.
And why not? Because it is true that “God makes us happy.”
Since that is true, why is there so much unhappiness in our world today, even among believers in Christ?
Well, it’s all too obvious that most of the blame lies with the pandemic of Covid-19 and our government’s response to it. The crisis and its consequences make for some very unhappy people. We wonder what’s next!
Even some Christians are so unhappy that they won’t speak to other Christians, not even their friends or family members, if they disagree on how to react to the coronavirus. Nor do they even want to associate with them. Those who aren’t vaccinated have become lepers to some! Or vice versa!
If this sounds familiar read on. Because God doesn’t want you to lose your Christian faith and composure. Nor does he want you to lose your love for others, especially those of your Christian family.
And God does not want you to be an unhappy Christian, because it is true that in Christ God does indeed makes us happy—even in the worst of life’s circumstances.
So how can you be happy in life when you’re not sure if you can safely go to a mall, a grocery store, or visit a restaurant? Maybe we can do these things where we live, but no matter where we live it has become extremely difficult to travel on a train or fly on an airplane, especially for travel to a foreign country where, even if they let us in, we would probably have to quarantine or test for Covid-19 day after day.
And how can you be happy attending a worship service at your church? Will you get sick? Can you even open your mouth to sing God’s praises? In some places these three questions make believers extremely unhappy.
But God doesn’t want you to be unhappy! So how can you still be happy in the midst of our world’s dreadful circumstances?
First of all, Proverbs 16:20 has a great bit of advice: “He who heeds the word wisely will find good, and whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he.”
In the midst of the pandemic, what has changed in your relationship to God through Jesus Christ?
Absolutely nothing! You still belong to him. You are still on your way to heaven. The Holy Spirit is still working in your life to bring you “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23). And, like Proverbs 16:20 advises, you are likely still heeding the Word of God and trusting in the Lord.
Therefore, happiness should never be escaping your life. Not even if life’s circumstances bring you discontentment and unhappiness. For God makes us happy deep within our souls, and nothing can come between us and our relationship to God in Jesus Christ.
But there is something more as Christians which gives us happiness. Psalm 146:5-7 tells us that those who serve God and hope in him are happy. And this state does not come about only because God is our spiritual Father and Savior, but it will happen for the one “who keeps truth forever, executes justice for the oppressed, and gives food to the hungry.”
In other words, God makes us happy when we are living out our Christian lives by ministering to others—by doing something as servants of Jesus Christ!
The early Christians, the Book of Acts tells us, were heavily persecuted for their beliefs in Jesus Christ. But in Acts 4:23-31 we read of the apostles and those with them being filled with the Holy Spirit and boldness and joy to preach the gospel of Christ, working miracles of healing, and feeding the poor.
And in Acts 8 we read of a deacon named Philip who went to Samaria following the martyrdom of Stephen. He could have been depressed and very unhappy. But he wasn’t. He not only led many to Christ, but “. . . unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed, and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. And there was great joy in that city” (Acts 8:4-8).
Were these early Christians happy in the midst of persecution and much anxiety? Absolutely! God made them happy because they were doing something for him. They were ministering to those in need.
Last week I started my first two classes to believers in Tanzania. Because this was through Zoom I was able to interact with the students. And these sessions left me with a great exhilaration—happiness.
And I am even filled with happiness writing this blog!
So get cracking! You will find happiness in whatever you do for Christ no matter how trivial you might think it is.
Because God makes us happy!