Do we deserve happiness?

At a friend’s blog she asked if she deserved happiness. I thought it was an interesting question so thought I would post my response. Anyone have any thoughts on the issue?

Interesting question indeed.

I think that God wants us to be happy… but that doesn’t mean we deserve it or will always have it. I think that joy and happiness are similar, but quite distinct. I think a Christian can experience joy in the midst of hardships because s/he knows that God is in control and that His purposes are greater than our own. I also think that a Christian (along with his non-Christian) friends, can experience happiness in positive experiences.

Do we deserve happiness? No, definitely not. We deserve the punishment that Jesus took for us. It is us that should have been scourged and hung from the cross. But exactly because Jesus, in his mercy, took that from us, we can be happy. We can be joyful. We can be redeemed.

The real question is “can I be happy?” I think the answer to that is yes… with provisions. We definitely won’t always be happy. And some will be happier than others. But I also don’t think that happiness is necessarily something that God just provides and we have to wait for. God provides the situations, it is up to us how we respond to those situations. Some situations will make happiness the easy response, some won’t. But it is still up to us how we respond. I am not saying that happiness is always the appropriate response (it would always feel fake if it was), but don’t shy away from being happy just because you think it isn’t for you.

It’s also ok to not be happy. Just because you aren’t happy now, doesn’t mean you won’t or can’t be at another time. Just look for the opportunities. Take it when you can get it. :)

Anyway, that is just what came to me off the top of my head.

Categories: Theology
  1. January 8th, 2007 at 13:56 | #1

    Hi Matt!

    Thought you might be interested:

  2. January 8th, 2007 at 14:48 | #2

    That way rocks! I miss Stackhouse’s witty comments, now I can get my fill in blog form! Thanks for pointing me his way.

  3. January 8th, 2007 at 15:30 | #3

    No. Consider yourself lucky if you get any moments of happiness in this dismal world of toil and travail. And in those moments of happiness remember those billions around you living in misery.

    What right have you to be happy?


  4. January 8th, 2007 at 15:42 | #4

    Rude. Why don’t you go kick some puppies?

  5. January 8th, 2007 at 18:37 | #5

    Poor miserable puppies.

    Serious answer:

    Do we deserve happiness: no. Do we make ourselves more unhappy than we need to: quite often, yes.

  6. January 8th, 2007 at 22:56 | #6

    Think of the puppies! They deserve happiness!

    Do we make ourselves more unhappy than we need to: quite often, yes.

    I completely agree. I think it is an odd form of self-deprecation. Enjoy the moment I say!

  7. Becky
    January 14th, 2007 at 20:36 | #7


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