5. God wants us to be happy.
Happiness in scripture is usually mentioned in terms of a fleeting moment or a temporal, earthly event. Neither the scriptures or Christ (or anyone else for that matter) ever tell us that God wants us to “be happy.” He wants us to be a lot of things: righteous, holy, godly, pure, sanctified, etc … but “happy” ain’t in the list.
It’s cliche, but man is it true: God is more concerned with our holiness than our happiness.
Americans tend to think more in terms of happiness and immediacy than joy and steadfastness. We want God to just rain down good feelings and good times.
The truth, however, is that being happy and content in our daily lives is a byproduct of following Jesus with an obedient heart, but it is not the reason we follow Him.
We give our lives to Him because His sacrifice demands a response. In turn, as we engage with Him and let the Spirit lead, He offers us the abundant life. Abundance in Christ, however, is not synonymous with happiness.
In fact, I would argue that in some ways, being a Christian is actually harder than not. The reward, blessing, peace and fruit, however, far outweigh our temporal sufferings.
I would say that #3 and #5 are personal struggles for me. I am constantly battling lies within my mind, either self-perpetuated or flaming arrows from the enemy. Either way, recognizing lies for what they are is the best cure. The result is freedom, and ultimately that is what I’m after.
Which of the five lies, if any, have you believed or currently struggle with?
What lies would you add to the list?