Who does not want to be happy? Who is ever dare to claim that they are not in the quest for happiness? Furthermore, who knows why they want to be happy?
This morning I received a sermon on happiness, a sermon which made me realise that I have been waiting for this sermon for quite a while. On my perception, I was hardly able to associate holiness with happiness as the most probable brother to holiness in my eyes, is, the word called ‘restrictions’. My view towards holiness greatly shaped my view towards God as He calls us and wants us to live a righteous life. What I was missing is the purpose behind that requests where I assumed that God takes pleasure in human’s efforts to try living a life as His standard. My point of views were greatly challenged as I listened to today’s sermon as once again, the truth reminded me that only God could make us holy. Through glorious sacrifice on the Cross, the justification for our righteousness was overly paid and thus, His holiness is imparted to us by our faith and confession.
At the same time, this self-sacrificing God is also a joyful God that delights in seeing His creations live a life according to His image. Did I mention joyful God? Yes, I am. Not only that, I now remember that one of the most neglected God’s character is that He is a happy God. Thanks to my church’s Pastor Daniel that reminds me through his sermon that God is not a stern taskmaster that loves to be angry and a fault-finding personality. In fact, in Zephaniah, it is written that God rejoices and takes delights over His people, with singing! Could you imagine that God cherishes your presence with sing, a fair indicator on how happy someone is. I am happy to be near my girlfriend, but I hardly sing on her presence-besides the fact that my song might make her unhappy.
The very first few verses of the Book of Psalm directly discusses about happiness, which presumedly why the Book is called as Psalm in my eyes. Psalm is the collection of hymns, praises, and expressions from its writers about the condition of their heart and soul. This eloquently written verses are born out of what the authors felt at that time and poured for its readers through words that sing for themselves. The top motivation on why people sing is, happiness I would say, as when our hearts are so filled with joy, words alone not enough to express, therefore we sing. Going further, what this book of songs call as happy individuals are those who disregards the ungodly and incline their ear to the way from the Lord. Neglecting the seemingly promising worldly counsel, and refusing to conform to the way of the world are the attributes worthy to be called happy.
God might seemed as a restrictive God, who does not too happy when we are free to do anything what we want. Indeed, He does not want us to live reckless life in the search for joy as He knows ultimately that the true happiness and joy can only be achieved by Him and through Him alone. He is the inventor of us, and He is the apex of all satisfaction in this world. Through sins, the separation distorts our view and perception about what ought to fill the vacuum inside our heart. The greatest lies and deceptions say that the real source of joy itself is opposing people’s longing for joy. Hence, we lost and miserable.
“God’s intructions are not for His pleasure, but they are all for us, for our happiness in which He also delights in.”
Thank God that He is not only happy, but He is humble and loves infinitely enough to step down and salvage us from drowning. He directs and provides us with the way to true satisfaction in this life through His counsels. The way we see His instructions will greatly shape our journey for joy. If we label His laws as arduous-happiness-restrictor, then of course we will stray away from Him and try to invent a system for our happiness. God’s intructions are not for His pleasure, but they are all for us, for our happiness in which He also delights in. It is about banking on God, where any other banks fail. If everyday banking means we surrender the trust to the bankers for our cash, which is very dear to us, banking on God means yields the control for our quest for joy to Him, the author of joy Himself. Surely His words will come true, that we can only gain real deal of happiness through the maker Himself, who knows our needs, intimately.