“Love . . . is glad when truth is glad” (1 Corinthians 13:6 Barclay).

HERE’S A SUGGESTION: MAKE GOD’S HAPPINESS THE MAIN GOAL OF YOUR LIFE. That’s a somewhat strange suggestion, obviously. The main goal of most people is to make themselves happy, and the idea that we ought to be more concerned about God’s pleasure than our own would strike some folks as odd.

But Paul said that love is “glad when truth is glad,” and truth is glad when what happens is that through which God can show forth His glory most greatly. Truth rejoices when God’s purposes are fulfilled. It finds pleasure in the same things that He does. It looks at everything from His perspective and is never happier than when He has been pleased (2 Thessalonians 1:11,12).

To what extent are we a people committed to truth? Is our love for God such that we are “glad when truth is glad”? It’s easy to say yes with our lips, but what does the evidence of our way of life in the real world suggest? When the requirements of truth involve the sacrifice of our own happiness, what then? Is God’s gladness a higher priority than our own pleasure? This is a question most of us will find it uncomfortable to answer honestly.

If we want to grow in this area, we need to begin adopting a larger perspective on the issue of happiness. In eternity, the only people who will be happy are those who are able to rejoice in the gladness of God. In this life, we may travel a path that goes in the opposite direction from God and delude ourselves, for the time being, into thinking that we’re happy. But that is only because God’s eternal purposes have not yet reached their final fulfillment. When that time comes, His victory will be complete and absolute. If by then we haven’t learned to rejoice in the truth of His goodness, we will be sent away from Him forever. The only ones who’ll remain with Him will be those who can honestly rejoice with Him. But after eternity has begun, it will be too late to begin acquiring a taste for the things that make God glad. Now is the time to do that. Now is the time to modify our likes and our dislikes — so that what we like most of all is to rejoice at the joy of our Father.

“Does everything in my life fill His heart with gladness, or do I constantly complain because things don’t seem to be going my way? A person who has forgotten what God treasures will not be filled with joy” (Oswald Chambers).

Gary Henry — WordPoints.com + AreYouaChristian.com

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