François Fenelon wrote, “What does God ask of you, but to be happy? Have you not realized that we are happy in loving him? Have you not felt there is no other real happiness, whatever excitement might be found in sensual pleasures, apart from Him? Since you know where to find the Fountain of Life, and have once drunk of it, why would you seek foul, earthly cisterns?” It’s a great question. Once we have experienced the incredible love and goodness of God, why would we ever then be satisfied with the pale pleasures of this world that cannot compare in any way to the majesty and unparalleled beauty of Jesus?
The only happiness we are guaranteed in this life is that found in Christ Himself. The happiness of a true follower of Jesus is realized only when we are following in His footsteps, obeying His teachings, and living the life He created us to live. There is no happiness outside of that. Anything else in which we seek to find delight will yield only a shadow at best and bitter disappointment at worst. Put simply, our happiness is Christ. God does want you to be happy, but not in the selfish way that we would normally consider it.
Your Creator knows you will only be truly happy when you are living in close relationship with Him and fulfilling the unique purpose He designed for you. This life will bring pain, discouragement, and disappointment. We will experience extended periods where nothing on earth seems to be going our way. What we must remember is that we live in a world that is under the curse of sin. Trying to find happiness in the midst of that environment is futile. Another tragedy is always just around the corner. This isn’t God’s fault; it is our fault, and the fault of every other human who has ever lived and compounded the results of sin.
Yet God does want you to be happy. You were created to be happy. You were created to seek Him first and to do the things that Jesus did on earth. You were designed to love and to serve. When we love God, we will live in harmony with Him. We will not seek pleasure in anything other than Him. Best of all, we will come to understand that as we love Him, we will find true happiness. God wants you to be happy because He knows the only way that can happen is when you are madly in love with Him.
What does God ask of you? Only that you love Him with all of your heart, soul, strength, and mind (Luke 10:27). You won’t find happiness anywhere else despite what you’ve been told or what fantasy you’ve sold yourself. Nothing on earth will ever provide more than a fleeting feeling of happiness. True happiness comes as the result of loving God. When we love Him we will serve Him. When we serve Him, we will be happy. And that is all God asks of us.