Chances are you’ve seen the Victoria Osteen video clip with Bill Cosby’s cut in response. Her assertion that God’s greatest joy comes when we are happy is causing quite a stir. Such unbiblical claims have led to her being called a heretic, false prophet and like the wolf in sheep’s clothing Jesus himself warned against.
Honestly, it’s about time. In fact, I hope this serves as a wake up call for both believers and our society at large to realize what we often blindly accept as “Christian” teachings simply because it’s delivered in a church, taught or written by a well-known pastor/author with a mega-following.
Why is it we’ve deemed whatever attracts the masses, proves popular and makes us feel good to be good? Is that litmus test or is it God’s Word?
“O foolish Galations! Who has bewitched you?…” Gal. 3:1
The gospel of Christ is not about our happiness!
We sure live though as if happiness is our right and calling, falsly believing our obedience, good deeds and morality should merit God’s blessing. So in the backlash against Osteen (again deservedly so) can we be honest to see how we often live as if we beleive just what she said?
Just consider what happens when you aren’t happy – what does it cause you to do? To feel? To believe?
- That you deserve better.
- That life is not fair.
- That God is not good.
- That others are to blame.
- That you need to do whatever it takes to get happy.
Even when whatever you need to do to be happy is contrary to God’s word, you justify it’s okay because God wants you to be happy!
How easily we fall for Satan’s lies.
Just as the crafty serpent whispered to Eve, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?” we question God’s goodness and truth, determining we know better. And before you know it we have sized-down the God of the Bible to be who we want Him to be, making ourselves to be our own functional god.
The irony is we will never find true happiness outside of God. The grass will always be greener somewhere else. We will never be totally satisfied or completely filled. We will always be striving, searching, seeking for more… Apart from Him.
Does He promise happiness?
No, He promises MORE! He promises more because our biggest problem is not whether we are happy or not. Our biggest problem is our sin.
God, therefore, in His great love for us meets our greatest need in the perfect person and work of a Savior. God left His own Son to hang on a cross to pay the price of all the sins of His people. We have been set free of the punishment of death we deserve because He took it on Himself. There is no condemnation, only grace. We can come into His presence boldly with no prerequisite or requirement to have it all together. He was perfect for us.
Now even when life gets hard and we experience the weight of suffering and sin, we can find rest in Him. So though happiness may not always be found this He does promise:
- He will not leave or forsake you.
- He is near.
- He understands because He experienced all that we do.
- He is your rock.
- He is your strength.
- He is your comfort.
- He is your peace.
- He makes you whole.
- He is your All in All.
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