Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Goal of Happiness Pt 3


God does want the believer to be Biblically happy, although this happiness is different from the world's understanding. Biblical happiness is not dependent on circumstances. Secondly, mankind's purpose is to glorify God. But how does happiness, Biblical or worldly, fit into the purpose of God?

Romans 8:28 (KJV)
28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

This well-known verse of Scripture is often used to point out that God intends that all things in our lives work together for good. This is true. It is also important to understand that this promise is for those who are of the called, the believers in Yeshua. This calling and the good that results are all according to His purpose, the glorifying of God. Therefore, the meaning of "good" is determined not by what we necessarily think is good, but rather by those things that ultimately glorify God.

This is then what determines the circumstances in the believer's life. Only those things that will glorify God are allowed by God to happen.

Unfortunately, some segments of the church have translated this into a gospel that teaches that God's desire is for believers to be wealthy, prosperous, and without illness. This is false. We live in a fallen world. There are earthquakes, tornadoes, extremes in temperatures, floods, pestilence, and illness. Ultimately, we all die. There is also evil and sin. Man is pitted against man. Even believers choose sin over obedience to God. This world can be scary and terrible, filled with difficulties and misery that we have thrust upon us, or even fall into because of our own sin, or poor (but not sinful) choices.

Yet, God works with and through the fallen world we live in. And for Christians, we have that confidence that even though God allows tragedy in our lives, we know that what we go through somehow fits in God's purpose of His glorification. How can this be? How does the believer's misery glorify God?

Although we don't comprehend all the workings of God, some examples can help in our understanding. It is a fact, that when the church is persecuted it grows more and is more spiritually healthy than when life as a Christian is easy. Going through extreme pain from injury or illness allows empathy for others and causes focus to be on God rather than worldly goals. Even martyrdom serves as an impetus for church growth.

In some ways, this still might seem to contradict what God has promised us as believers.

Philippians 4:19 (KJV)
19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

It is hard to imagine that persecution, pain, sickness, tragedy, and death constitute "supplying all your need." This is where that supernatural gift of Biblical happiness or joy comes in. Believers can experience Biblical happiness in the most trying and difficult times! Let's also look critically at the sum total of our lives. Can we admit that God has also blessed us with times of worldly happiness as well?

What then is God's responsibility to believers overall? If His ultimate purpose is His glorification, what is He trying to accomplish in us?

God's overriding responsibility and desire is to create a people for Himself. He is molding believers into a holy people by whatever means is necessary. If persecution or tragedy will do this, God will use it. It is what is good and necessary. You see, God is more interested in getting the believer ready to be a member of His Kingdom than of providing worldly happiness.

Hebrews 8:10 (KJV)
10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

Romans 8:29 (KJV)
29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.


  1. The refiner's fire for Silver, the furnace of affliction for Gold. The Lord prepares His vessels to endure the process of passing through the fire and the flood. The joy and the peace, the happiness when we achieve the goal He has set for us. By sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken. By submission to His training and preparation we become more knowledgeable and more aware of the Lord's presence in our lives. Such joy and happiness to know that whatever happens, He is there to help us through difficult times.

    1. Ray,

      Thank you! You have spoken truth in such an excellent and eloquent way!

  2. While we cannot disagree with you as to what some churches have done with the so-called prosperity message, making it about self as opposed to what the Father intended it to be for. According to scripture, the sole purpose of God giving anyone the power to get wealth is for the wealth to be used to establish his covenant (Deuteronomy 8:18). And while some churches understand the purpose, the message should not be discounted because of the actions of some who have totally abused it. Jesus tells us that he has come that we may have life and have that life more abundantly (John 10:10), but is this more abundant life only intended for us once we enter into the kingdom? And while God tells us to honor our fathers and mothers, which is the first commandment with a promise (Ephesians 6:2-3), was the promise that “all would be ‘well’ with us” and that “we may ‘live long’ upon the earth” not to be honored, especially when we had done our part? Are those things mentioned above as part of the fallen world, intended for his children or a byproduct of the world in which we live?

    And while we totally agree that God’s overriding responsibility and desire is to create a people for himself, where he is molding believers into a holy people by whatever means is necessary, are we missing out the good intentions of God because of the misguided efforts of a select few. We do wonder if all of the blessings guaranteed to us (Deuteronomy 28:1-14) are meant for us where they can be used as a blessing to others in establishing God’s kingdom in this present age or are they intended for us once the kingdom has been established and we have entered in? Even Jesus’ group of disciples had a moneybag and a treasurer, who was stealing money from the treasury, which went unnoticed by the others (John 12:6, John 13:29).

    For now, we will continue to seek those truths, which are, contained his word, and seek the wisdom to understand them as they are revealed. As always we thank you for your messages, for they are truly a blessing to us.


    1. Kingdom Worker,

      I'm not really in disagreement with you, either! I guess much of this discussion has resulted from the misleading preaching that I have heard and read. God has promised His people many, many blessings of abundant life, both now and in the future. And He really does know how to bless abundantly! However, we also experience great tragedies, poverty, and illness. Some of these result from our own behavior, but many are just the result of living in a fallen world. God determines what is the best for us in all these situations. If I am destitute, does that mean that God is not good to me? No! He can use that for His purposes just like He can enormous wealth.

      I'm aiming at balance, trying to take into consideration all aspects of the truth. No matter how you try to write about it, it seems to come out lopsided. Thank you for helping us to understand more completely the topic!

      Blessings my friend in Yeshua!