“But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;” – 1 Peter 1:15 NIV
God desires us to be holy more than happy!
Countless times in ministry I have heard the phrase, “God wants me to be happy, doesn’t He?” The truth is that God is far more concerned with our holiness. He is concerned with our character more than our comfort. Perhaps this is why James could say, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” – James 1:2-4 NLT
Our faith is worth so much more than anything we are tempted to place our hope or trust in (See 1 Peter 1:6-9). Our partnership with God in His bringing us along toward maturity in Christ is worth whatever struggle we face along the way. Will we be happy? Yes, but lasting happiness comes as we abide closely to Jesus…on the far side of holiness. Consider how poignantly Tim Keller makes this point: “If you understand what holiness is, you come to see that real happiness is on the far side of holiness, not the near side.” – Tim Keller The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the complexities of commitment with the wisdom of God