It’s Not God’s Job to Make Us Happy
“Maybe God’s goal isn’t to make you happy, but to make you holy.”
This is what I keep hearing in my spirit. Before I explain, don’t get me wrong–my life is good. As with any of us, there are areas I’d like to see improved but I have no complaints or major problems.
But in stepping back and looking at the BIG picture, don’t you agree with the statement above? “As God has said, ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God and they shall be My people.’ Therefore, ‘Come out from among [the world] and be separate…’, says the Lord” (2 Corinthians 6:16-17).
By definition, the word holy means to be separate. Sadly, people have exploited this to mean all kinds of things–for example, no makeup, no cars, no friends outside the church, etc., etc., etc. But Jesus didn’t teach (or live) in this manner. He ate (fellowshipped and dined) with sinners and tax collectors. He was relevant in His culture. He didn’t harp on how His disciples dressed or what mode of transportation they had.
So how are we to interpret holiness?
God said, “Come out from among [the world] and be separate…” The Apostle Paul then said, “Therefore [based on what God said], having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1).
We are programmed to find happiness in the latest movie, the newest car, or the most popular fashion. Or in some cases, we think happiness will be found in the perfect marriage, the perfect home life, or when someone (anyone) loves and adores us despite all our flaws. But this isn’t reality. Those things may appease us, but God isn’t in the business of granting these wishes just for the sake of making us happy.
His goal is to make us holy.
Therefore it boils down to two words: cleanse ourselves. When frustration, jealousy, or rage knock on the door of our heart–often reminding us we are not happy at the moment–we are the only ones responsible for what happens next.
- Will we choose God’s Word over our feelings?
- Will we remind ourselves “Love endures long and is patient and kind…” (1 Corinthians 13:4).
- Or will we complain and cry out to God in a so-called prayer, expecting Him to fix it because after all, He’s supposed to make us happy…?
What I have found is that when I choose to cleanse myself of the yuck of my flesh, I am happy. I find joy in separating myself from the ill-feelings of selfishness, accusation, and justification. It doesn’t always happen in an instant, but God’s peace never fails to replace my anxiousness, resulting in sweet joy despite what others around me choose.
God love us and loves to see His children happy, but if His goal was only to make us happy then He’d have to give in to every whim of our flesh.
My point is this: God love us and loves to see His children happy, but if His goal was only to make us happy then He’d have to give in to every whim of our flesh. And this would be no more effective than giving candy to a screaming toddler who wasn’t getting their way just to hush them up. On the contrary, God wants us to mature into His image which produces joy unspeakable and full of glory (something much better than mere happiness).
So, “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature [holy] and well-developed, not deficient in any way” (James 1:2-4).
This article was written by Daphne Delay who is an author, speaker, and podcaster with a passion to help this generation discover who they are in Christ. She is the author of Facing the Mirror, Facing the Enemy, and Facing God. Daphne also blogs nuggets of spiritual growth and encouragement regularly at