The Happiness of God

The reason why many young people hesitate to give their lives to God is because they think that the fun in life will also go away along with it.  They think that God is boring.  That’s probably because the Christians they encounter are usually serious and boring.   As they say, don’t judge a book by its cover, our theology should never be formed by observing Christians around us.  There is a documentary film about Christians in America with the title “Lord, Save Us From Your Followers.”  I think this is a valid concern.  We need to be saved from contrived traditions or institutionalism within the church, which could grieve or stifle the Holy Spirit’s joy and freedom deposited within us.  

Somebody said, what you think and believe about God matters more than anything else in your life.  Yes it matters, because it changes and controls they way in which we view and treat life, whether it is of our own or of others.   

Most of you would have heard the story of a blind man and a deaf man who went to a dance event. The blind man rated the music excellent, but said the dancing was below standard, while the deaf man rated the dancing excellent but said the music was pathetic.  They could not resolve their differences because both of them had a partial and incomplete knowledge—one could not see and the other could not hear. What I attempt to do in this small article is just to reveal one of the many facets of God, which is hardly talked about. I don’t claim to be a theologian by any means, and so I don’t intent to invoke any form of argument. But it doesn’t take a theologian to discover that our God is a Happy God (with capital ‘H’) and not a bullying, big brother, a joy killer, or irrelevant and boring like most Christians (including me) portray him to be.  In fact this is the last thing a theologian can come to terms with. To my knowledge, hardly anyone has written about the happiness of God. I hope I will not be labelled a heretic.  

The first question, then, is this: How do I know God is a Happy God? Firstly, God is happy in Himself. He is a relational being in Himself. There is complete unity, understanding and harmony among the three persons of the Trinity-the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  He didn’t create us to fulfil His search for happiness and amuse Himself.  In fact we brought Him nothing but trouble. He longs for us, not in the sense that He is incomplete without us, but because He knows that we are lost and heading straight to Hell without Him. And His love wouldn’t allow that. The Trinity epitomises perfect unity, understanding, peace and harmony, and that’s where true happiness is found.  Our search for happiness must lead us to the Trinity.

Secondly, if you are an artist, you will know the joy and satisfaction of having created a masterpiece.  I treasure the joy that comes from finished articles and seeing them in print [although readers may take a different view]. Take for instance the creation story in Genesis.  Imagine the sheer excitement and joy in Heaven when God was creating this world.  Imagine the Angels dancing and cheering at the sight of a glorious waterfall with colourful birds flying above, and flowers springing up all over. Imagine the joy of creating something with your image upon it. God created humans in His own image. And He said it was good.  Then suddenly there was a dead silence. This image-bearer of God had rebelled and turned against Him. If it were a rabbit that rebelled, history would have been much simpler.  But it was this precious image-bearer. Then begins the unhappy tale of humankind, but the happiness of God remains intact separated from us by our sin and rebellion.  

I refuse to believe that a gloomy and nonchalant God would create such a beautiful and lively world.  Look around you—nature still stands as a witness to this divine happiness; the birds still sing of it; the flowers and clouds reflect it every morning. I suspect that they know and experience Divine happiness much more than we do. Think of what humans separated from God are missing. Oh, how I wish it were the rabbit.  

Thirdly, though we are marred by sin, God in His mercy still allows us to be His image-bearers. And though this world is chaotic, it is never boring.  Somebody once said, ‘God must have had a very good sense of humour to have created the likes of us’. Yes indeed. Take for example people around you. For some, just our presence is enough to make people roll in laughter (Not that we are just jokers or funny, but we bring so much joy to people. And yes, some people do look funny). Great saints who have lived in close intimacy with God have confessed that they have even enjoyed jokes with God.    

And finally, I end with one of my favorite quotes.  Many people (including Phillip Yancey and Ravi Zacharias) consider G.K. Chesterton’s book Orthodoxy to be one of the greatest Christian books ever written. Chesterton closes his book with the following lines, which talks about Jesus:

‘I say it with reverence; there was in that shattering personality a thread that must be called shyness. There was something that He hid from all men when He went up a mountain to pray. There was something that He covered constantly by abrupt silence or impetuous isolation. There was some one thing that was too great for God to show us when He walked upon our earth; and I have sometimes fancied that it was His mirth’.