Happiness through Holiness | April 25th, 2022
Have you ever heard the expression, “God is more interested in your holiness than your happiness?” I heard it the other day for the first time and it intrigued me enough to look into seeing what the Bible says about it. My immediate thought was, Why can’t the two be connected?
The Meaning of Holiness
It’s important to first understand the meaning of holiness. In the New Testament, it is translated as “set apart.” In the Old Testament, it was connected with God’s perfection. If God desires our holiness, how can we be both set apart and perfect? As sinners, we are so far from it!
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23
When we believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior, He sets us apart, cleansing us from sin so we become holy in His sight. We are without blemish because He took our sin upon Himself on the cross, paying the penalty of death for us.
Because we are set apart, we are called to live holy lives through our obedience to God. Though we will never be without sin in this life, He gives us the power to live in a way that is honoring and pleasing to Him. It’s impossible to do on our own!
As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:14-16
Knowing this good news of being set apart and perfect in God’s sight, can holiness possibly be connected to our happiness?
The Meaning of Happiness
Now let’s understand the meaning of happiness…the outward expression of inner joy, contentment, and fulfillment. Some people believe if they pursue what they think makes them happy such as sexual immorality, excessive drinking, materialism, or an obsession with success, they will have that inner joy. It may seem so in the beginning, but it soon ends in misery and becomes apparent that sin is poisoned joy. The world is filled with people who have pursued their own pleasures and dreams but are very unhappy.
Joy, contentment, and fulfillment spring from that which is eternal. They all relate to our relationship with God. When we really get to know who God is, we learn to trust Him because we understand just how much He deeply loves us. We can have joy in the midst of even the toughest trials and hardships knowing He is with us through it all and will never leave us.
When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. Isaiah 43:2
We can have contentment knowing when we delight in the Lord He will give us the desires of our heart. We will never be happy with the things this world has to offer, but as we grow in our relationship with God our heart’s desires will begin to line up with His will and all He gives us will completely satisfy.
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
And when we start to understand He has a purpose for us that reaches beyond what we could ever imagine and that our role is to simply trust Him and allow Him to work out all the details of our purpose, we will experience fulfillment.
The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Psalm 138:8a
Happiness is Rooted in Our Obedience
For us to have joy, contentment, and fulfillment for true happiness, we must be willing to be obedient. That’s what holy living is all about. God’s boundaries for us are His divine protection. They are written in His Word which has all the guidance we need. There are many consequences to be paid when we go outside of His boundaries in disobedience. And there are many blessings in living a life of holiness.
When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild. But whoever obeys the law is joyful. Proverbs 29:18
Once we begin to experience the incredible joy, contentment, and fulfillment God has for us when we live obediently, the less we will strive to find happiness apart from Him. Holiness is what secures our happiness.
As Charles Spurgeon, an influential British Baptist preacher put it, “Holiness is the royal road to happiness. The death of sin is the life of joy.”
Happy is the person who honors the Lord, who takes pleasure in obeying his commands. Psalm 112:1
Happiness is Rooted in our Identity
God designed us to have an innate desire for happiness. When our joy shows on our face, people notice. We are called to be a light in this dark world so we can draw others to Jesus, the Light of the world. How can we do that if we are walking around with a miserable, defeated expression on our face? When it gets difficult to smile through our struggles, the joy of the Lord becomes our strength.
Joy comes from spending time in God’s presence. There is no real joy apart from Him. We were created to be in a meaningful, intimate relationship with our Creator. To know Him is to experience our greatest joy.
You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:11
We are given God’s Word, the light for our path to help us deepen our relationship with Him and understand who we are in Christ. When this becomes the foundation of our identity, it also becomes the foundation of our happiness.
Who Are We in Christ?
We are deeply loved. When we know we are His and nothing can ever separate us from His love, our happiness is unshakable!
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
We are God’s handiwork, designed with His own creativity. The Creator of the universe designed us and had a unique purpose planned for our lives before we were even born to use our gifts for His glory!
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10
When we seek happiness in God, we will find there is an inseparable connection between our identity and having an intimate relationship with Him as it relates to our joy, contentment, and fulfillment. The more we grow to love Him, the more we will desire to live a life of obedience, honoring Him in all we do. What unimaginable happiness we can experience when we live as He has called us…holy as He is holy.
Happiness and holiness are so beautifully connected. And one day, when there are no earthly hindrances, our happiness will be made complete when we are presented in perfect holiness, face to face with our loving Savior, Jesus Christ.
Read more articles in » Spiritual Sparkle