While sitting in class and thinking about the love of God that chose believers before the foundation of the world, I had an interesting question come to mind. Am I more afraid of a happy God than I am of an angry God? That seems like an obvious question, but let me probe the question a little and see what you think. See if I believe that God is the most joyful, most happy Being in the entire universe then it changes how I fundamentally view life in at least three key areas.
1. If God is the most joyful and happy Being in the Universe, then for me to live and have the most joy and happiness in this life, I must submit to Him and what He says will bring me happiness. This leaves me no room to decide what makes me happy. There is no argument that says, “If it feels good, do it.” It debunks the theory that “if it feels this good it must be right.” No, if God is ultimately a happy and delightful God, then for me to enjoy my life to the fullest extent I must enjoy what He enjoys and abstain from what He says I must abstain from.
Finding happiness in this life is the pursuit of mankind. If we do not like our job, family, or car we are told and taught from a young age to simply discard it for what will make us happy. Seek comfort and stay away from uncomfortable situations and people. “Stay true to yourself” is the mantra of those who pursue self-pleasure. But if God is the happiest of all Beings, then for me to pursue happiness is to pursue God and what He delights in. That is truly a frightfully delighting task!
2. If God is the most joyful and happy Being in the Universe, then to displease a happy God is worse than to simply placate an angry God. Follow me on this one for a second. If God is already angry at me and I sin, I already know that He is going to punish me and He only needed me to “slip up” to unleash that punishment. In other words, my obedience is out of obligation so that I do not get punished.
But if He delights in goodness and is joyful, then when you and I sin we are hurting that offer of joy and taking away from the delightful relationship that we could enjoy with God. It is like hurting a good friend who we enjoy being around. Then an offense enters the relationship and we stay away from them at all costs until that hurt is resolved. If God is perfectly joyful in His Person, then I am the one who has caused that breech in the relationship and not He. I am the one who has run from and wronged God. My obedience then is not out of a fear of being punished, but from delight and love of having a relationship with God Himself, through faith in Jesus!
3. If God is the most joyful and happy Being in the Universe, then the way I view the distasteful things in this life (death, murder, natural disasters, disease, etc.) changes from God being an angry ogre to seeing this broken world as a result of man’s rebellion against God. I no longer can shake my fist up at God and tell Him that He needs to do something about the famine where children are dying, where children and women are mistreated daily, and where natural disasters end countless lives. No, I look at these things and weep because I realize that my sin and all of humanities sin against the most joyful and happy Being in the Universe is tearing His world to shreds. I no longer am able to blame God for the discomfort in my life, but am humbled by my sinful choices that harm others and myself.
I begin to see that the God of the Bible is the One who despite the anger and hatred of mankind pointed at Him and at each other has sent His unique Son, Jesus, to live among sinners, to be falsely accused and condemned, to die on a bloody cross, and to rise again on the third day. God is a God who loves the world and delights to save rebels. He adopts His enemies into His family and seals them with His Spirit to produce among other fruits, joy. The offer of putting off anger, hate, and fear are extended by the God of love, joy, and peace. He has provided the way to joy and happiness through Jesus Christ. So, are you more afraid of a happy God or an angry God? The implications are life altering!
Article by: Caleb Nedimyer