Does God Want Us to Be Happy? {For When There is Discouragement and Loss}

Funny how a week of the flu can make everything in your life feel like it’s going to hell in a hand basket.

It started with this:

The one who loves his life will lose it, and the one who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me. Where I am, there My servant also will be. ~John 12:25-26

I read these words. I Hated on these words. I prayed to understand these words.

There are words that Jesus said–like these ones–that I just want to wish away.

I read them the same week I had lunch with a friend and her words washed my heart like the torrents of a flash flood, “I just want you to be happy.”

Yeah, me too. Sign me up for happiness. Give me giggles and rainbows and dancing unicorns. Give me easy and delightful. I too just want to be happy.

Is that such a bad thing?

Then the flu hit. Along with a dump truck load of discouragement.

Hating life doesn’t seem like such a stretch at the moment. Is this what God wants for me?

I might go so far as to say that the things in my life that represent the greatest loss and discouragement seem intentionally placed here by God. Like Lazarus, there have been “deaths” for which he stayed away instead of bringing healing (John 11). Sometimes I feel so much like Judas, displeased with the direction the mission is going (John 12). There are so many things that would be so different today if God just always followed my instructions. Like Martha and Mary, I often meet Jesus on the path of disappointment with the words  “if only You would have…then…”

Always, He replies, “If I did things the way you wished upon me to, you’d love your life more than My life in you. No matter how happy you think they’ll make you, I don’t grant wishes that won’t lead to worship.”

They’re words I know are true. They shovel dirt upon that little seed called happiness, burying it deep. There it dies. And stays. Until the Voice of Creation calls it out to a new life that knows nothing of transitory happiness, only eternal glory and love.

2 thoughts on “Does God Want Us to Be Happy? {For When There is Discouragement and Loss}

  1. I just read this post to our church staff this morning. Brenda, thank you for the honesty, truth and insight in your words. You are one of the most Godly individuals I’ve ever met in my life. I’m thankful for you.

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