How do you see God? Do you see God as someone that wants you to be happy? Do you see God as someone that wants what is best in your life? Consider what James writes:
2 My brothers and sisters, think of the various tests you encounter as occasions for joy. 3 After all, you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 Let this endurance complete its work so that you may be fully mature, complete, and lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4)
What does God want? God wants us to “be fully mature, complete, and lacking in nothing.”
12 Those who stand firm during testing are blessed. They are tried and true. They will receive the life God has promised to those who love him as their reward. (James 1:12)
Here in verse 12, you can go ahead and insert “happy” for “blessed.” Those who stand firm are happy. Those who follow Jesus no matter where He goes. Those who follow Jesus no matter what He tells them to say. Those who follow Jesus no matter what He calls on them to give.
We see this in Psalm 1 too:
The truly happy person doesn’t follow wicked advice, doesn’t stand on the road of sinners, and doesn’t sit with the disrespectful. 2 Instead of doing those things, these persons love the Lord’s Instruction, and they recite God’s Instruction day and night! (Psalm 1)
Does God want you to be happy? Yes.
We think we become happy in life when all of our wants and desires are met or even exceeded. This is not true, at least in the way we typically look at it. For instance, you could easily make a list of unhappy millionaires. These are people who seemingly have it all. (See this earlier post “As Long As It Makes You Happy”)
13 No one who is tested should say, “God is tempting me!” This is because God is not tempted by any form of evil, nor does he tempt anyone. 14 Everyone is tempted by their own cravings; they are lured away and enticed by them. 15 Once those cravings conceive, they give birth to sin; and when sin grows up, it gives birth to death. (James 1:13-15)
What is this saying? At times, His wants and desires for our lives are even better than our own wants and desires. Did you hear what you just read?
Here is an exercise you may find helpful. It will help you identify compete cravings and desires in your life. Keep track of all of your cravings and desires. Make a list for a day or even for a week. Then ask yourself, what is it that you are expecting from this craving and/or desire? Will it make you happy? Will it help lead you to a lifetime of happiness? Is it in line with what God wants and desires for your life?
Remember, God is working for you! God wants to see you be formed more and more into the image of Christ. He wants you to “be fully mature, complete, and lacking in nothing.” God wants you to come through each and every day in a way that glorifies His name. God wants you, yes, to be happy. This happens, happiness comes and is known, when our wants and desires become His.
(All scripture cited above from Common English Bible Copyright © 2011)