God is far more concerned with our character than He is our comfort. Very few get excited about that reality, but it’s true, nonetheless. Jesus always has my best interest at heart, even though He often takes me through a valley of struggle to become the best version of myself.
Trials can mold us if we let God do His work in us. Hardships can make us hard if we choose bitterness or holy if we choose to trust. Struggles can shape us into the image of Jesus. (Check out these familiar passages in James 1 and Romans 5).
However, someone recently asked me, “I know God wants to shape my character, but does He want me to be happy too?”
Short answer: Yes!
Do you, as a parent (or grandparent), want your kids to be happy? Of course, you do. You want to bless your kids. You want the best for them and desire them to have joy.
Jesus told us that our Papa God wants to give “good gifts” to His kids (Matthew 7:7-11). And His promise to us is “abundant life . . . life to the max” (John 10:10).
God is not mean. God is a good, good Father! Your happiness matters to Him. James, the half-brother of Jesus, wrote, “every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights” (James 1:17).
So, here’s something to consider. Are you happy?
Do you wake up in the morning with joy or dread? And if you’re not full of joy or happiness and wouldn’t describe your life as “abundant,” then why not? What might need to change? Where are you accepting bland, boring, tedious, and humdrum as normal and okay? Where are you stuck? What emotional brakes do you need to release to enjoy the ride of life Jesus has planned for you? What attitude or perspective in your heart and mind needs to change?
Please read the following line slowly and carefully.
God is good. His plan for you is good. And He wants you to live a good life.
Certainly, “good” isn’t always easy, and struggles will still come, but Jesus wants your heart to smile and your life to be amazing more often than not. And yes, I know you might be thinking about a thousand “what ifs?”
What if I suffer from a chronic condition?
What if I am facing a terminal illness?
What if my circumstances are completely out of my control right now?
And the list of other possible dark scenarios continues. I understand, and I can’t address everything in a short blog.
But the question remains: If your life isn’t good and you aren’t happy, what are you willing to do about it?
Are you prepared to discover something better, good, and joyful? Are you ready for something new?
Sometimes we are only one decision away from awesome.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:7-11 (NIV)
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on Kurt Bubna