May I assume that you know God is smarter than you are?* And may I assume that you know God is a Whole Lot smarter than you are? How much smarter is God than you? Through the prophet Isaiah, we get a little glimmer of HOW MUCH smarter God is. Let’s just understate it and say the difference is considerable.
So, when God thinks one way and you think a very different way, whose way do you think is smarter?
When God thinks about your happiness in one way and you think about your happiness in a different way, whose way do you think is smarter? For me, this is a no-brainer (pun intended).
There is ONE most vital belief God has about your happiness. It is vital that you believe this as well. God knows it and you need to know it, too. Here it is: God himself is your happiness. This ONE truth has been celebrated by the greatest theologians, sages, spiritual directors, prophets, pastors, poets, and musicians through the ages. It is summed up in the immortal words of the greatest Christian theologian of all time:
“You have made us for Yourself and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in You.” (Augustine of Hippo)
Augustine was simply echoing what he read in the Psalms.
“One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord in his temple … Then … I will sing and make music to the Lord … My heart says of you, ‘Seek his face!’ Your face, Lord, I will seek.'” (Psalm 27:4, 6, 8)
Ignore God, neglect God, keep your distance from God, and you will miss out on Real Happiness.
God must become and remain your Greatest Good (Summum Bonum in Latin).
Here is what C.S. Lewis said about this in his famous book, Mere Christianity:
If you want joy, power, peace, eternal life, you must get close to . . . the thing that has them. They are not a sort of prize that God could, if He chose, just hand them out to anyone. They are a great fountain of energy and beauty spurting up at the very center of reality. If you are close to it, that spray will wet you: if you are not, you will remain dry. Once a person is united to God, how could she not live forever? Once a person is separated from God, what can he do but wither and die?
In other words, God is your happiness. When God is rightly ordered and rightly loved, then there is the possibility of all other loves being rightly ordered and rightly loved as well. When God is supremely loved, he gives you all other good things as gifts to be received with thankfulness. When you are happy in God, all other happiness is the little extra thrown in for good measure.
When you are not happy in God, all other happiness is temporary, fragile, fading, and even dangerously idolatrous.
So, may you be increasingly happy in Christ. I will go so far as to say, may you be deliriously and delightfully happy in Jesus.
* I don’t always know if this is a safe assumption. These days it seems we are pretty quick to get angry at God about what he is doing (or not doing). We often have an unvoiced attitude of “If I was in charge, things would be a lot different.” We tend to walk away from God if we can’t understand or approve of what he is doing.