Sunday, August 26, 2007

Does God want us to be Happy?

"Blessed (Happy) are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God." - Matthew 5:3

Do you feel a deep-seeded pleasure or joy when you are needy for God? This week as I studied this verse in preparation for a Bible study, the verse finally came alive for me. For a long time I have treasured 2 Cor. 6:10 where Paul writes, "suffering, yet always rejoicing, poor yet making many rich, having nothing and yet possessing all things." I feel this deeply when I am really humbled by God or when I feel an earnest desire for Him or when I am in deep repentance. Usually all of these things come together at once. I see the grandeur and the greatness of God through something and I am led to amazement, then joy, and then to brokenness in my need for more of God. I am humbled and am driven to joyous, sorrowful repentance. It is a sweet sorrow indeed! It was a joy to discover this same heart and these same thoughts again in this famous passage. Truly Jesus, in love, wants our deep and abiding happiness so much that He lets us go through many pains in order that we discover and experience it deeply and abidingly.

This is what Jonathan Edwards wrote:

"All gracious affections that are a sweet odor to Christ, and that fill the soul of a Christian with a heavenly sweetness and fragrancy, are brokenhearted affections. A truly Christian love, either to God or men, is a humble brokenhearted love. The desires of the saints, however earnest, are humble desires: their hope is a humble hope; and their joy, even when it is unspeakable, and full of glory, is a humble brokenhearted joy, and leaves the Christian more poor in spirit, and more like a little child, and more disposed to a universal lowliness of behavior." (Religious Affections)

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