Doesn’t God just want me to be happy?

28 We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

I would love to tell you that God wants nothing more than your happiness.  I would love to tell you that God will never let anything happen to you that would cause sorrow, grief, or pain.  I would love to tell you that you should pursue whatever makes you happy and God is all for your happiness, but I can’t do that.  We know from experience that God allows pain, sorrow, grief, and heartache into our lives.  Why would God allow these things in our lives?  Why not just let us be happy all the time?

As a parent, I love it when my children are happy.  I love it when they are enjoying life and having a great time.  I think every parent does.  We want our children to be happy; however, our children’s happiness should not be our greatest priority.  Our greatest priority as parents should be to bring up our children in a way that will instill in them God’s ways and values.  We strive to build good character, biblical morality, and solid life skills, so that, God-willing, when they are of age, they will have every opportunity to be successful in life – that means not everything in your child’s life is going to bring them happiness.  Sometimes, you are going to have to correct your child.  Sometimes, your child is going to experience pain and sorrow.  Some days are going to be difficult, but our prayer is, at the end of the day, their life will be successful and that they will prosper.

I think our experiences as parents echoes God’s interaction with us.  Does God want us to be happy?  I think so.  I think God delights when we are happy; however, God doesn’t just want me to be happy.  Happiness is temporary.  Happiness is tied to feelings and emotions that are often based in circumstances and circumstances change all the time.  Sin can be enjoyable for a time.  Sin can even cause you to “be happy”, like in the stories at the beginning of this message.  So, we must understand, God’s highest priority is not our happiness, but holiness.  God highest priority is not our happiness, but holiness.

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