Have you ever heard someone say “I deserve to be happy” or “God wants me to be happy”?
Perhaps you’ve said it yourself a time or two. I know I have. Usually when I was trying to justify sin or rationalize why I needed to get my way.
It reminds me of my son, Jabez. He’s two. He is so jolly and happy, but very persistent in getting his own way, which is typical for this stage of his life. It’s Jabez’s way or no way. He believes that everything he wants should be given to him, everything he does should be acceptable, and no one should ever stand in his way. As his mom, don’t I want my son to be happy!? Of course!
But I want him to be well-behaved, healthy, safe, and understand boundaries.
I believe the same is for God: he loves us and wants to be happy, but also righteous.
Society tells us that if it feels good, we should do it. If we want something, we should have it. And boundaries don’t necessarily apply to us.
I know, I’ve been there.
Happiness isn’t about having our way, but about finding joy in Jesus. It’s not about doing whatever we want, but about following his Biblical standards of living.
When we argue that God wouldn’t want us to be unhappy, there’s usually an underlying sin we hope to justify, but, if we were to come under God’s umbrella, we would find true joy and peace. No need for justification.
When we argue that God should give us what we want at all cost, we are acting like my sweet, tantrum-throwing Jabez, saying “Mine!” If we take a moment to say “its all yours, God” then we will begin to find our heart’s desires fulfilled in ways never imagined.
When we refocus our hearts from entitlement to surrender, from haughtiness to humility, and begin to see joy in Christ alone rather than superficial, temporal, happiness, I believe we will be running over with blessings from Him.
Lord, I ask that you help me surrender all of my own desires and demands to your perfect will. Help change my heart to honor you rather than elevating myself. As I do this, I ask that I be filled with true joy that only you can bring.