Pages

Categories

Archives

Meta

Doctrine of Sharing the Happiness of God

August 25, 2011

Sharing the happiness of God is having permanent contentment as your constant companion. This happiness is permanent because it does not depend on the circumstances in your life.  It is actually God’s own perfect happiness that He shares with the advancing believer as a grace gift.  Sharing God’s happiness is obtained only by consistently learning, believing and applying the Word of God over a period of time.  The more time you log under the power and the control of God the Holy Spirit and thinking divine viewpoint, the happier you are going to be.  Therefore, sharing the happiness of God is not for the novice believer.  It is impossible to share in something that you know nothing about.  Being happy is one of the many spiritual blessings that comes with increased capacity.  Increased capacity to receive God’s blessing of happiness comes only one way – study and application of Bible doctrine. (Jeremiah 15:16; John 13:17)

Creating an Environment for Happiness in the Soul

It is impossible to be happy as a believer in Christ without obeying the principles and commands we find in the Word of God.  Disobedience brings only self-induced misery and discipline from our Heavenly Father.  As Christians, we must learn to make good decisions from a position of strength.  Our position of strength is in direct proportion to the amount of truth we have stored in our souls and the maximum utilization of that truth to our circumstances.  This is what is meant by creating an environment in your soul for happiness.  Bible doctrine is stored in the soul and is accessed from the soul by wisdom (application).  (Proverbs 3:13)

Christ, our Example of Happiness

John 15:1-14

The Word of God gives us a clear picture of how Jesus exhibited the happiness of God during His life on earth.  You will recall that Jesus utilized the same power source that we have, the Holy Spirit, to sustain and empower Him.  Therefore, the happiness of Christ was based on truth. He fully understood God the Father’s plan for Him and executed it with joy (happiness).  Remember that Jesus was fully human with the same emotions that we possess.

It is recorded that Jesus wept at the death of His friend Lazarus (John 11:33-35), He sorrowed over being rejected by the Jewish nation (Luke 13:34) and showed great emotion as He anticipated going to the Cross (Luke 22:42).  However, throughout His entire life He always exhibited the happiness of God.  Why?  Because true happiness is a mental attitude, not an emotion. (Hebrews 12:2)

Christ was constantly being attacked by Satan and his accomplices, the Jewish religious leaders.  Christ even endured six illegal trials, with all the physical and verbal abuse at the hands of the Jews and the Romans and still maintained His happiness.  How? By utilizing eight of the ten Problem-Solving Devices, the exceptions were number one, Rebound (He did not commit sin) and number ten, Occupation with Christ (He is Christ).  As humanity, Christ was controlled by the Holy Spirit, used the Faith-Rest Technique, was totally oriented to grace, learned Bible doctrine, had a personal sense of destiny, exhibited the maximum personal love for God and impersonal love for all mankind and shared the happiness of God. In other words, He pioneered the Christian Way of Life for you and me. (John 1:1-34)

The Counterfeit Happiness of Satan

Since Satan was unsuccessful in destroying Christ’s happiness, now his mission is to attack the happiness of both the unbeliever and the believer.  Satan has no happiness of his own to share.  Therefore, he must resort to his favorite tactic, counterfeit.  Satan is a genius and has been observing mankind from day one.  This, of course, means that he knows people better than they know themselves.  As the ruler of this world, Satan’s cosmic system can provide all the conditional and temporary happiness a person can handle.  This includes money, power and fame.  These things, we know, do not bring true happiness and often bring only misery.  But these things are not Satan’s only deceptions – his most effective one is religion. (II Corinthians 11:13-15)

Religion comes from two Latin words, which mean “to bind back.”  This naturally leads to a form of works for both salvation and spirituality.  Religious leaders often encourage their members to engage in certain “spiritual” activities or to avoid certain “worldly activities” in order to be happy.  Sometimes Christians are tempted to fake happiness in order to gain the approval of their pastor or other members of the church.  The word “joy,” which means happiness, has been distorted by Satan and his followers into an overt display of emotion, which is supposedly a sign of “spirituality.”  Emotion is Satan’s best counterfeit of the ministry of the Holy Spirit.  However, as we have studied, the ministry of the Holy Spirit is not felt nor seen.

Spirituality is being controlled by God the Holy Spirit.  Emotion itself, as we know, is not evil.  It is the incorrect use of emotion that is evil.  Emotion is a wonderful thing, given to us by God as a response mechanism, especially to truth. True Christianity is not a religion.  It is a permanent relationship with Jesus Christ.  This relationship begins upon faith in Christ as Savior and has the potential of continuing after salvation as a way of life.  Happiness, as we will see, is not dependent on overt activity or avoidance of certain taboos.  Genuine happiness depends on the truth that you have stored in your soul.

True Happiness

“In fact, we write these things in order that our state of happiness might be completed.” (I John 1:4)

A state of genuine, true and complete happiness depends on absolute truth found only in God’s Word.  There are, however, degrees of happiness.  The more time you spend in the study and application of Bible doctrine, the higher your degree of happiness.  As the believer continues to seek truth over time, his capacity to receive blessing increases.  One of the many blessings that God gives, as a fruit of the Spirit, is happiness.  But as with everything in the Christian Way of Life, happiness is only a potential.  The believer must make the decision to spend time in study and application of God’s Word.  The more you know about God, his policies and His mandates, the more application you are able to make.  The more application of God’s Word that you make, the happier you will be.  (Matthew 6:33; Romans 14:16-19; Galatians 5:22-23; II John 12)

Divine Happiness

God is perfect happiness, His happiness is eternal, His happiness is unchanging (it never decreases or increases).  Why? Because it is a part of His character.    There has never been a time when God was unhappy.  The times in the Bible when unhappiness is ascribed to the Lord, it is an anthropomorphism (ascribing to God human characteristics) for our finite understanding.  God in His grace designed man to share this divine happiness.  When the believer thinks divine viewpoint, he is sharing the thinking of God and can also share the happiness of God.  One of the by-products of sharing God’s thinking is personal independence.  This means that the believer is becoming self-sustaining; he is able to make good decisions from a position of strength.  He is able to utilize Bible doctrine effectively in all areas of his life.  Divine guidance, for example, becomes a matter of “spiritual common sense.”

The believer is able to take the responsibility for his own decisions, good or bad, and stabilize his life as a result.  No one is allowed to disturb, upset, or depress you since your confidence is in the Lord.  All this combines to bring you happiness.  This means that truth, exhibited in the life as integrity (a strict adherence to the truth), must precede happiness! (Proverbs 3:13, 8:32-34; John 17:13)

Sharing the Happiness of God

The completed state or mature state of happiness is a matter of spiritual growth.  The believer who reaches this state of happiness does not require overtblessings to sustain his happiness.  His state of happiness does not hinge on fame, fortune, promotion or people.  His relationship with God has matured to the place that he does not need special blessings in order to be happy.  Therefore, God can give special blessings to him, because this believer will not forget the source or base his happiness on this prosperity.  This believer will not be distracted from his personal love for God by any details of life, whether it is adversity or prosperity.  This believer’s first priority is intake and application of Bible doctrine so that he can know God and fulfill His plan, His purpose and His will. (Philippians 4:8-13; Revelation 2:1-5)

When your spiritual life becomes more important to you than the details of life, you will be able to enjoy God’s happiness in all situations.  no person or set of circumstances can defeat you.  Why?  Because your happiness does not depend on people or circumstances.  Your happiness depends on the doctrine that you have stored in your soul.  Because your priorities are in order, you have learned that sharing the happiness of God replaces any false, temporary happiness that this world system offers.  Sharing God’s happiness builds spiritual self-esteem, increases capacity for life, eliminates fear, increases our ability to endure suffering and continues to advance the maturing believer.  When this advancing believer reaches the point of increased capacity in his spiritual life, God begins to pour out fantastic blessings (not always material) to this believer, which brings glory to Him both now and for all eternity.  This means that you are no longer reaping what you sow, you are now reaping what God has sown. (James 1:2-3; Ephesians 2:7; Galatians 6:7-9; Hebrews 3:10-12)

The Litmus Test

It is impossible to have the capacity to share God’s happiness if you’re not consistently utilizing all of the first eight Problem-Solving Devices in your daily experience.  It’s a complete system. As with everything in the Christian life, sharing the happiness of God is only a potential, acquired only through spiritual growth.  If the details of life are keeping you from acquiring, storing and using an inventory of Bible doctrine in your soul, you will never experience the necessary growth required to share God’s happiness.  So here’s the litmus test for you and me.  Am I progressing or retrogressing?  We certainly never stand still in the Christian Way of Life.  If you’re not growing, you’re shrinking! (Proverbs 8:32-34)