THE DOCTRINE OF HAPPINESS
Point 1. Introduction and Description of Happiness.
Let’s begin our subject with some principles.
A) Happiness is not having what you want; it is wanting what you have, or as we have seen before, it is being at a place of contentment.
Paul will say this to us in PHI 4:11 “Not that I speak from want; for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.”
Phi 4:12 “I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.”
Phi 4:13 “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
The word for content is the noun autarkes which means contentment, to be content, to be self-sufficient. It actually describes the happiness of the believer in spiritual adulthood.
B) The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts; therefore, you should guard the type of thoughts that you allow into your soul. You should be careful that you do not entertain any thoughts unsuitable to virtue and impersonal love.
This is why Paul said to the Philippians in PHI 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any virtue and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.”
In fact, happiness and virtue rest upon each other; the best are not only the happiest, but the happiest are usually the best.
C) The truth is that all of us attain the greatest success and happiness possible in this life whenever we use our capacities to their greatest extent. It’s our capacity that allows us to experience happiness.
That’s why HEB 13:5 says “Let your lifestyle be free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.”
D) There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will. An unhappy person is involved with egotism, selfishness, evil, or absolute ignorance.
Happiness is a way of life. In fact, happiness requires problems.
As Paul will say to us in Phi 4:4 “Be happy in the Lord always; again I will say, be happy!”
Phi 4:5 “Let your forbearing spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.”
Phi 4:6 “Be anxious for nothing [stop worrying about anything], but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
Phi 4:7 “And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
E) You’ll never realize how happy you are until you go through certain problems and find out that your happiness has not been taken away.
1Pe 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
1Pe 1:4 “to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,”
1Pe 1:5 “who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
1Pe 1:6 “In this you greatly rejoice [you have inner happiness], even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials,”
1Pe 1:7 “that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;”
1Pe 1:8 “and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with an inexpressible happiness and full of glory [a reference to a soul structure which thinks with God],”
F) Happiness is not a reward for doing something; it is a consequence. In the Biblical realm, it is the consequence of taking in doctrine.
Pro 3:13 “Happiness belongs to the person who finds wisdom, even to the person who gains understanding.”
G) We tend to forget that true happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have. This is where capacity comes in once again.
H) It is not the place, nor the condition, but the mind alone that can make anyone happy or miserable.
Pro 23:7 “For as he thinks within himself, so he is.”
Pro 17:22 “A happy heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones.”
I) Happiness is learning to understand rather than to immediately judge.
A person can save himself from many hard falls by refraining from jumping to conclusions. If you could only take some time to understand all the facts rather than immediately judge someone, you will experience a tranquil life, a life of peace and happiness.
J) Happiness means not following the majority and accepting their approach toward life.
A happy person is one who makes up his own mind, has his own convictions, and doesn’t allow himself to be manipulated.
K) Happiness is not allowing yourself to indulge in the usual manipulation that goes on in life.
L) Happiness is coming to understand that life is best to be lived and not to be conceptualized or just considered.
A happy person is not afraid to live and is not afraid to fail.
M) A person is happy because they are growing daily and not thinking of where the limit lies.
Every day there can be a new revelation or a new discovery about life and about God. The happy person lives one day at a time and enjoys himself.
N) Happiness is also being able to treasure the memory of past misfortunes.
In fact, happiness isn’t something you just experience; it’s something you remember.
O) The happiest people are those who think the most interesting thoughts. Those who decide to use leisure as a means of mental development, who love good music, good books, good pictures, good company, good conversation, are the happiest people in the world. They are not only happy in themselves, but they share their happiness with others.
P) It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.
The key to true happiness is a change in our mental attitude.
Point 2. Definition and Vocabulary.
First of all let’s begin with the English words used in the Bible for happiness.
The English noun “joy” refers to a state of happiness or bliss or something which causes happiness, great pleasure, or satisfaction. It is interesting that it is used by the apostle in the book of Philippians seven times, the number of completion or perfection.
The verb “rejoice” is also another word which describes happiness, and it is defined as an expression of a state of happiness or delight. Paul used this word eight times in the book of Philippians.
The English noun “happiness” is defined as a state of well being characterized by a relative, permanent contentment, marked by pleasure, satisfaction, or joy. In fact, it also means to be enthusiastic about life.
These English words do not necessarily reflect the original languages of Scripture.
Let’s note the Hebrew words used for happiness.
Eshor is translated blessed, blessedness, happiness. It is usually found in the construct form ashere, generally translated happiness, blessing, blessed.
For example, in PSA 1:1 “How blessed [happy] is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!”
Or look at PSA 32:1 “How blessed [happy] is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered!”
Psa 32:2 “How blessed [happy] is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit!”
Eshor and ashere on the basic words used for happiness in the Old Testament.
Then there are the Greek words used for happiness.
The noun chara is translated “joy.” However, the Romans and Greeks were very cynical about happiness, and they didn’t seek it in things and people as we do. So these Koine Greek words have different connotations from their English translations.
The noun makarios (usually in the plural makaroi) is translated “blessed” or “happiness.” For example, it is the word used in the Sermon on the Mount.
Mat 5:3 “Blessed [happy] are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Mat 5:4 “Blessed [happy] are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
Mat 5:5 “Blessed [happy] are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.”
Mat 5:6 “Blessed [happy] are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
Mat 5:7 “Blessed [happy] are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”
Mat 5:8 “Blessed [happy] are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
Mat 5:9 “Blessed [happy] are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
Mat 5:10 “Blessed [happy] are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Mat 5:11 “Blessed [happy] are you when [men] cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me.”
Mat 5:12 “Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
However, these words used for translation do not explain the Biblical doctrine of happiness. The noun autarkeia comes a little closer, because it means contentment, to be content, or to be self-sufficient. It means a perfect condition of life in which no aid or support is needed.
It actually describes the happiness of spiritual adulthood.
It is used in 1TI 6:6 “But living the spiritual life keeps on being a great means of prosperity when accompanied by contentment or capacity for life.”
Notice how it is translated in 2CO 9:8 “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, that always having all sufficiency [there’s autarkeia or another definition for happiness] in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;”
Its verb arkeo, in the active voice, means to be sufficient; therefore to be self-sufficient. This comes closer to describing what Biblical happiness really is, and what happens to us when we execute the PPOG for the Church-age.
It is used in 2CO 12:9 “And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”
In the passive voice, this verb means to be satisfied and content. This refers to an expression of happiness related to spiritual autonomy.
The passive voice use of this is found 1TI 6:8 “Now having nourishing food and a change of clothes, with these we shall be content.”
Now, we really cannot discover from these words alone what happiness is. We commonly use them in relationship to our emotions, stimulation, excitement, and anticipation. But we do not know what happiness is from these words in isolation. Therefore, to understand what happiness is becomes a grammatical, exegetical, contextual examination of certain passages of the Word of God.
In other words, one word doesn’t really describe happiness. But to refer to it, we will use the commonly used word “happiness.”
Most people carry the entrenched notion that some set of circumstances, things, or people can “make” us happy.
However, happiness is not something that is made or manufactured by you. We must never confuse happiness, as taught in the Word of God, with the various stimuli of life which are enjoyable for the moment, but have no ability to sustain us in day-by-day living.
Whatever happiness is, it is something we have with us all the time. It’s only in the body to the extent that the soul is in the body, for happiness is related to the soul and spirit, to the immaterial parts of man, and is not related to the body at all.
Remember that rapport with God must precede rapport with people. And if you have no rapport with God, you will never have rapport with people, and you also will never experience true happiness.
Our corrected translation of PHI 1:15-18 reads, PHI 1:15, “Certain ones, on the one hand, are proclaiming the Christ even from jealousy and strife or discord, but certain ones on the other hand because of good motivation”
Phi 1:16 “the latter category [the last ones mentioned in verse 15] out of the motivation of love, are fully convinced that I am appointed for the defense of the good news;”
Phi 1:17 “the former category [the first ones mentioned in verse 15] from the motivation of divisive self-promotion proclaim Christ, not from pure motives, since they presume to arouse mental distress with regard to my imprisonment.”
Phi 1:18 “What is my conclusion? Only that in every way, whether in false motivation or in true, Christ is being proclaimed; and in this I am happy, not only at this time, but I will continue being happy.”
We have noted in relationship to this passage the subject of happiness, which is a very misunderstood concept in our day an age.
True happiness is having contentment no matter what type of situation you are faced with.
Happiness depends upon the quality of your thoughts.
There is only one way to happiness, and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our control.
In fact, happiness requires problems. You’ll never realize how happy you are until you go through certain problems and find out that your happiness has not been taken away.
We tend to forget that true happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have. It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that reveals our happiness.
So the key to true happiness is a change in our mental attitude.
The phrase “the pursuit of happiness” is actually a ridiculous phrase because if you pursue happiness you’ll never find it.
Point 3. The Biblical Categories of Happiness.
1) Pseudo happiness or false happiness.
2) Establishment happiness from following the laws of divine establishment.
3) Perfect happiness which is the possession of divine happiness (also called +H).
Pseudo happiness is Satan’s attempt to counterfeit the happiness, the contentment, and the blessing which God has provided for every Church-age believer as members of the royal family of God.
The provision of perfect happiness is found in our portfolio of invisible assets and the game plan for the Church-age, the PPOG. However, as the ruler of this world, Satan loves to keep his citizens deceived through this counterfeit happiness. He does so by providing stimulation, ambition, and self-indulgence which will either counterfeit or cancel out the happiness God provides for us.
This is why the apostle John said in 1JO 2:15 “Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
1Jo 2:16 “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.”
1Jo 2:17 “And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever.”
Satan himself does not personally administer pseudo happiness to any person, but he does provide the system called in this passage the world, or the kosmos, which we call the cosmic system.
And the cosmic system provided by Satan is filled with illusions, delusions, fallacies, and misconceptions of happiness.
Satan’s myth of arrogance is that both people and pleasant circumstances in life can make you happy. This of course is not true.
Satan’s propaganda is that money, success, pleasure, social life, sexual life, public approbation, fame, material things, travel, health, and pleasant circumstances in life can make you happy.
This is only true under certain circumstances and with certain limitations; however, it doesn’t last. Often these things are pleasurable, stimulating, fun, and enjoyable, but they cannot support you…especially in time of suffering.
By way of contrast, what God has provided for us in perfect happiness is a permanent factor and a problem-solving device.
Remember this principle, anything that is worthwhile is worthwhile in adversity as well as in prosperity.
If you are dependent on any person or set of circumstances for happiness, you are weak and you do not have happiness.
To the extent that you are dependent on people, circumstances, prosperity, success, or any accoutrements of life for happiness, you are weak.
But if, as a believer in Jesus Christ, you have been faithful in the reception, retention, and recall of Bible doctrine and have advanced to spiritual self-esteem, spiritual autonomy, or spiritual maturity; you are not only a strong person, but you have great inner happiness. You take this inner happiness with you wherever you go, just like the apostle Paul took it with him while in prison.
God’s happiness isn’t dependent on environment, associations, or circumstances of prosperity or adversity; it depends on none of these things.
God’s happiness is simply a part of God’s grace policy to believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Remember that Satan is the ruler of this world, LUK 4:5-7; Joh 12:31, 14:30, 16:11 [ruler]; 2CO 4:4 [god]; Eph 2:2 [prince]. In Eph 2:2, he is called the prince of the power of the air, or the one who controls the atmosphere in this world. Here the “atmosphere” refers to the educational system, the media, television, radio, literature, or any other means that the kingdom of darkness can use to invade your system of thinking.
Satan rules and controls through a policy called arrogance, in contrast to God’s policy of grace. However, Satan’s administration of pseudo happiness to any believer or unbeliever can only exist when that person is involved in the cosmic system. This happens primarily in cosmic one, where through arrogance, any capacity for true happiness is destroyed.
Arrogance destroys any capacity for happiness. The presence of arrogance in your soul is a guarantee of unhappiness perpetuated for the rest of your life.
Arrogance includes jealousy, and you cannot be jealous and be happy.
It includes self-pity, and you cannot have self-pity and be happy.
It includes a guilt complex, which you cannot have and be happy.
It also includes implacability, vindictiveness, hatred, revenge motivation, revenge function; any of these can keep you from being happy. All mental attitude sins, which add up to motivational arrogance, guarantee the exclusion of any happiness. Then from there you will move to functional arrogance, which only intensifies your unhappiness, causing you to begin a frantic search for happiness, and to try all sorts of things that will only make you unhappy.
Your life might be like the fool mentioned in LUK 12:16 “And He told them a parable, saying, ‘The land of a certain rich man was very productive.'”
Luk 12:17 “And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?'”
Luk 12:18 “And he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.'”
Luk 12:19 “And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years [to come]; take your ease, eat, drink [and] be merry.'”
Luk 12:20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This [very] night your soul is required of you; and [now] who will own what you have prepared?'”
Luk 12:21 “So is the man who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”
Unhappiness destroys the potential for contentment and appreciation and causes people to go on the frantic search for happiness. This complete and total search for pleasure eventually results in the total destruction of the individual.
No amount of material possession produces wealth; but enjoying what we have, no matter how much or how little it may be, is what makes us wealthy.
And, for those in the world, it is very hard to tell what does bring happiness because poverty and wealth have both failed. The problem is these people have been deceived by the god of this world.
That’s why in REV 12:9 we are told “And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world;”
So, the arrogance complex is very deceptive because it deludes, distracts, and deceives mankind into false notions about what constitutes happiness. A short good time can certainly be construed as happiness during the time it occurs.
Pseudo happiness can be stimulation, fun, entertainment, or something that is enjoyable, but it isn’t permanent; it is momentary. It depends upon a set of circumstances and an environment pleasant to you. And the great deceiver of this world has trapped many individuals by causing them to be suckers for pseudo happiness.
As 2TI 2:26 says they are being “held captive by Satan to do his will.”
So this is called pseudo happiness because, beyond that moment of good time, there are bad times, routine times, or dull times. And when you are bored or facing problems, that past temporary happiness does not sustain you. People cannot be carried by good times.
However, by way of contrast, perfect happiness is a magnificent problem-solving device because you have it all the time, and you merely tune into it during problem solving.
Perfect happiness is not only a problem-solving device, but it is a basis for capacity for life.
Arrogant preoccupation with self through involvement in the cosmic system guarantees unhappiness, and it guarantees that every moment of stimulation, success, or enjoyment will neither be perpetuated nor sustain you in day-by-day life.
Therefore, it is called pseudo happiness. You are stimulated and you call it happiness, but it’s gone tomorrow.
Pseudo-happiness is associated with any form of stimulation, enjoyment, or excitement which provides temporary pleasure, but it does not sustain, motivate, or encourage the believer in time of adversity, pressure, suffering, or testing, during which time he needs to use the resources of doctrine to solve the problems that beset him.
And instead of true happiness, if you are involved with the cosmic system this guarantees you self-induced misery and divine discipline. You can be free to indulge yourself in every whim of life, and yet become frustrated and miserable. You must have capacity for happiness to really be happy, and then you can be happy in whatever life has to offer you in a given moment. Capacity for happiness must precede the experience or function of happiness.
Morality, self-control, and self-determination based on divine standards of the Word of God will produce two kinds of happiness in your life.
1) The unbeliever who functions under morality without arrogance will have establishment happiness from the laws of divine establishment.
2) The believer who functions under consistent perception, metabolization and application of Bible doctrine will receive perfect happiness, which is a day-by-day, moment-by-moment happiness that carries you in the darkest of nights and the most difficult of times.
Life is divided into two parts: living and dying. And if you have perfect happiness in living, you will have perfect happiness in dying, whether it is prolonged and painful or short and sweet.
The only difference between living and dying is that, in living, we have the full use of our volition toward doctrine. However, in dying, our volition is no longer an issue because God’s sovereignty selects the time, place, and manner of our death.
If you live in the cosmic system, you will have a pseudo happiness in living and therefore a pseudo happiness in dying; and you will die miserably with a lifestyle of fear. Your mental attitude of panic will actually intensify all your problems in dying.
But if you have perfect happiness, you will have a magnificent life and a magnificent time while dying.
Another area in which you can have either pseudo happiness or God’s perfect happiness is in your single or marital status.
If you have pseudo happiness, when you are single, you wish you were married; and when you are married, you wish you were single. But if you have perfect happiness, it doesn’t make any difference whether you are single or married.
If you have perfect happiness and impersonal love in marriage, you can resolve all marital problems. That doesn’t mean that the marriage is always going to work out; in many cases it does not. However, it does mean you don’t have to have any bitterness, jealousy, anger, vindictiveness, or revenge motivation, like so many do when their marriage doesn’t work out.
Remember that the four divine institutions are for believers and unbelievers alike. They are the basis of structure in society, the basis for the perpetuation of human life and freedom, and the basis for order in society by which each person can fulfill his own destiny while others fulfill theirs.
However, neither divine institution number one, volition, nor divine institution number two, marriage, sustained and carried Adam and the woman in perfect environment. Before the fall of man, two divine institutions existed. There was freedom of volition, divine institution number one, and then there was marriage, divine institution number two. There was no family and no nation, which are divine institutions numbers 3 and 4. However, the marriage of Adam to the woman was a flop, a failure, as noted by Adam’s original sin and the woman’s sin.
And as they left the garden, God gave each one a mandate, and whether you and I like it or not is not the issue; God said “Husband, work! Wife, bear children!” God didn’t tell them, “Go forth and be happy.” In fact, throughout the Scripture, there are no mandates to be happy in marriage, because marriage is not a state of happiness. And if you did a study in the word of God, you would find out that certain marriages were flops, but the individuals still had perfect happiness.
For example, remember Abraham’s deceitful and cowardly attitude toward his wife Sarah, GEN 12:12-13; GEN 20:1-18. They didn’t have a good marriage, but they both ended up winner believers and had the happiness of God.
Moses divorced his first wife Zipporah in EXO 18:2, but he still had the happiness of God during that terrible marriage where she threw some foreskin at him. I’ll let the Living Bible give you an idea of what happened. EXO 4:25 “Then Zipporah his wife took a flint knife and cut off the foreskin of her young son’s penis, and threw it against Moses’ feet, remarking disgustedly, ‘What a blood-smeared husband you’ve turned out to be!'”
He didn’t have a good or happy marriage, but he had the happiness of God.
Do you think that David had a happy marriage when in 2SA 5:13 “Meanwhile David took more concubines and wives from Jerusalem,”?
He didn’t have a good or happy marriage, or in his case, marriages, but he had the happiness of God. In fact, in 2SA 6:16, it says that his wife Michal hated him. However, David still had God’s happiness.
Hosea is another example of a winner believer who did not have a happy marriage.
Hos 1:2 “When the Lord first spoke through Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea, “Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry [or go marry a whore], and [have] children of harlotry; for the land commits flagrant harlotry, forsaking the Lord.”
Hos 1:3 “So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.”
He didn’t have a good or happy marriage but he had the happiness of God.
Now, the point is, marriage was never designed for happiness. A happy marriage occurs when two happy people enter into a state of matrimony and in that state retain their happiness.
The only happy people who can do this are those who have perfect happiness or establishment happiness.
An unhappy marriage occurs when two unhappy people get married and retain their unhappiness. Or when a happy person and an unhappy person get married, and the unhappy person dominates and controls the marriage, the happy person loses his happiness.
A marriage is successful when two unhappy people get married, and through the predesigned plan of God (PPOG) or the laws of divine establishment, attain happiness and live together in a state of contentment.
But with regard to believers, it is impossible for believers to have a happy marriage apart from spiritual growth, execution of the PPOG, and possession of perfect happiness.
The best potential for a great marriage belongs to believers who are positive toward doctrine.
If the carnal believer tries to have a good marriage through establishment, his carnality and arrogance cancel out the establishment principles. Therefore, the believer’s only hope is to grow in grace through the perception of Bible doctrine.
A successful marriage is possible for any two believers who are both positive toward Bible doctrine.
An unsuccessful marriage also happens when a happy person and an unhappy person get married, and the unhappy person causes the happy person to revert to the cosmic system.
A failing marriage occurs when the happy person married to an unhappy person changes his priorities in life so that he loses his premarital happiness.
So marriage will not make you happy. In fact, if you are involved in the arrogance of the cosmic system, marriage will intensify and increase your misery.
People, marriage, sex, prosperity, success cannot make you happy. Only the execution or fulfillment of the PPOG and the use of the ten problem-solving devices can make you happy.
In fact, success is getting what you want; happiness is wanting what you get.
And once you have perfect happiness, you have the same happiness and the same capacity for happiness in adversity as well as in prosperity.
In Phi 4:13 “You can do all things through Him who strengthens you.”
There are also those who are single who are waiting for their right man or right woman, 1CO 7:17. This includes those who haven’t been married and those who have been married, but are not now married. Remember that those divorced with the legal right to remarry are in single status, and have the bona fide right under certain conditions to remarry, DEU 24:1-4. These conditions include unfaithfulness on the part of the opposite partner or desertion by the opposite partner.
However, if you are single and looking for happiness, do not look for it in someone of the opposite sex…..you won’t find it!
People are no better in marriage than they are as people.
People are never the same after marriage; they change either for the better or the worse. Marriage is a problem manufacturing device which demands the best from every believer.
So in 1CO 7:32 “But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord;”
1Co 7:33 “but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife,”
1Co 7:34 “and his interests are divided. And the woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband.”
1Co 7:35 “And this I say for your own benefit; not to put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is seemly, and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord.”
So you see, being married or single is not an issue in having the happiness of God.
What happens to a lot of single people is that they don’t know how to deal with loneliness. When human loneliness comes in we need to deal with it according to doctrine or else depression will set in.
There are four types of depression:
1) Mental attitude depression in which the individual is in a state of sorrow and self-pity.
2) Passive depression in which the person becomes very passive toward the necessary functions of life with no initiation.
3) Aggressive depression in which the person becomes very violent in his reactions.
4) Moody depression which produces a negative, complaining and critical person.
A believer who allows this depression to go unchecked is making a provision for serious problems down the road.
The lonely person then becomes a miserable person and looks to others for happiness. In fact, for some believers even Christianity appears to be only another temporary source of relief similar to the world’s provision of escapism. That’s why the arrogant visitor to the local church demands attention under the false assumption that a so-called “friendly church” will bring happiness. A friendly church cannot make anyone happy.
Man’s loneliness and anxiety is the result of an empty, aimless, meaningless life because of rejection of the PPOG. So an area in which you can have either temporal happiness or God’s perfect happiness is in your single or marital status.
There are many illusions related to pseudo happiness. An illusion is defined as an erroneous perception of reality, or an erroneous concept or belief. It is actually the condition of being deceived by a false perception or belief. If you have illusions relating to happiness, you must deal with them because if you don’t, you will end up with a meaningless life because of rejection of the truth.
OBA 1:3 “The arrogance of your heart has deceived you.”
So let’s note some of the illusions and misconceptions that people have concerning happiness.
A) The most common illusion relates to the fact that you cannot build your happiness on the details of life: money, success, pleasure, social life, friends, relatives, health, sex, or status symbols. Now, don’t misunderstand this statement. If you have capacity from perfect happiness, you can enjoy these things to the maximum.
However, they are not a source of happiness, but simply a means of expressing the happiness you already possess.
B) You cannot build your happiness on pleasant environment. This is one of the reasons why people travel; they think a change of environment makes them happy.
C) You cannot build your happiness on people, romance, marriage, friendship, children, or social activity. This is another myth, that people can make you happy.
Popularity relates to other people liking you, happiness relates to you liking yourself.
D) You cannot build your happiness by changing the devil’s world through reform crusades, social engineering, violence, civil disobedience, or revolution. Your objective should not be to change the devil’s world; instead, you should be a witness for Christ to people. You should be telling them the good news and the importance of doctrine. You can do that on your jobs, in your neighborhood, at your schools, by bringing them here, or even sharing doctrine in chat rooms on the Internet.
E) You cannot build your happiness on someone else’s unhappiness. If that is the case, you are full of all the sins of the arrogance complex. You’re jealous, bitter, vindictive, implacable, angry, full of hatred, self-pity, filled with guilt reactions that motivate you. You malign, gossip, run down, and get involved in revenge modus operandi.
Principles related to pseudo happiness:
1) Pseudo happiness depends on involvement with the evil of the cosmic system of Satan, and therefore can only be related to a moment of time, a moment of pleasure, a moment of history, a moment of power, a moment of approbation, or a moment of success.
The key word here of course here is a “moment.” Anything you have in a moment, which cannot be perpetuated, is not happiness, and too often it is related to emotion. Many individuals, including believers under the influence of evil, only have fleeting happiness based upon emotion.
For example, in JOB 21:7, Job is talking to a reversionistic believer whose name is Zophar and he says “Why do the wicked still live, why do they continue on and become very powerful?”
In other words, Job is asking, “Why are you still standing in front of me Zophar! Why does God allow you to live, Zophar?”
Of course the answer to that is all believers, winners or losers, receive logistical grace support from the grace of God. Remember Mat 5:45 “for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”
Winners and losers both have times of happiness in life. In context, Job’s friend Zophar is a very wealthy and prosperous man, even though he is very self-righteous, arrogant and filled with inordinate ambition and inordinate competition. This is why Zophar is gloating over the fall of Job…which isn’t a fall at all, because Job is being honored by God in evidence testing!
So in verse 7, Job says “Why do the wicked still live, [as he looks right in the eyes of Zophar] Continue on, also become very powerful?”
Job 21:8 “Their descendants are established with them in their sight, And their offspring before their eyes,”
They had nice family lives and did not lose all of their children like Job did.
Job 21:9 “Their houses are safe from fear, Neither is the rod of God on them.”
Not on Zophar yet, but it will be!
Job 21:10 “His ox mates without fail; His cow calves and does not abort or miscarry.”
Job is talking about prosperity in an agricultural economy!
Job 21:11 “They send forth their little ones like the flock, And their children skip about.”
Job 21:12 “They sing to the tambourine and the harp and rejoice at the sound of the flute [that’s their pseudo happiness].”
Job 21:13 “They spend their days in prosperity and suddenly they go down to Sheol [or the grave; whether they are believers or unbelievers, when life is over, they will answer to God accordingly].”
2) With pseudo happiness, when you get into serious trouble, you never recall the “good times;” because you’ve already entered into a state of arrogance and fear. These two mental attitudes guarantee you will never find any happiness apart from the laws of divine establishment for the unbeliever, and the attainment of spiritual adulthood for the believer.
3) Pseudo happiness depends on the environment, superficial pleasures of life, material things, status symbols, approbation from society, pleasure, success, social life, sexual activity, stimulation from drug abuse; this false happiness is self-gratification related to the lust pattern of the old sin nature.
And that’s why Solomon said it was vain in ECC 2:1 “I said to myself, ‘Come now, I will test you with pleasure. So enjoy yourself.’ And behold, it too was vanity.”
4) Pseudo happiness is superficial, changeable, unstable, frustrating, and temporary; it’s the source of self-induced misery under the law of volitional responsibility.
It is short, JOB 20:5 “The triumphing of the wicked is short, And the happiness of the godless momentary?”
Pseudo happiness is uncertain, Luk 12:20.
5) The belief that marriage, sex, success, prosperity, wealth, and social life can make someone happy is a myth. No one can make someone else happy. Some people think of marriage as a state of happiness, while others think of being single as a state of happiness. In fact, foolish people get married because someone promises to make them happy forever, or because they want to leave the environment of an unhappy home and transfer their unhappiness into their own new unhappy nest. This is the “both sides of the fence” syndrome. Both the poor and the rich, the single and married, are unhappy, looking to the other side of the fence for happiness.
6) Unhappy people take their unhappiness with them wherever they go, even if they cross over to the other side of the fence, whether it’s poor or rich, single or married. Those believers who reject Bible doctrine cultivate unhappiness, and always take it with them. Unhappy people complain constantly because their desires are not being met. In reality, if you really want to experience happiness, you don’t need to add riches to your life but you need to have certain desires removed.
7) The arrogance of unhappiness assumes that people, success, prosperity, promotion, romance, marriage, friendship, attention, approbation can make you happy. However, in reality, as a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, only Bible doctrine in your soul can make you happy; i.e., reception, retention, recall of Bible doctrine.
Only the provision of God’s grace policy can really make you happy, and that demands the three “R”s:
A) Reception is consistent perception of Bible doctrine.
B) Retention is the metabolization of doctrine, converting gnosis to epignosis doctrine.
C) Recall is the application of doctrine to whatever your circumstances may be, to whichever side of the fence you are on. The day you can look over on the other side, and be glad you’re on your side of the fence, is the day you begin to apply this point.
8) For example, look at Satan himself. He was the most beautiful, successful, attractive creature genius of all time. He had a maximum amount of power over millions or even perhaps billions of angels. Yet Satan, right now as the ruler of this world, is bored, miserable, frustrated, and very, very unhappy!
All the things that you think will make you happy have not made Satan happy, and he has them all!
Satan as the ruler of this world has certain ways to provide pseudo happiness. One is to provide temporary happiness to certain believers and unbelievers who carry out his will of evil and perform human good. This is why the wicked prosper.
Satan’s system of evil provides certain stimulus for human emotions. He has stimuli designed to make you think you are happy. His system rewards people who follow his precepts. This pseudo happiness is related to reversionism, the interlocking systems of arrogance (his cosmic systems one and two), and the function of evil in the soul.
However, since this pseudo happiness depends on involvement with evil, it can only be related to this life. This type of pseudo happiness involves pushing for a better environment, superficial pleasures in time, the details of life, promotion, and the saturation of the lust pattern of the old sin nature. This pseudo happiness is the temporary triumph of evil in the human soul, 2SA 1:19-20.
So, Satan is the greatest genius of all created beings. However, while he has the ability to provide pseudo happiness, he doesn’t have the ability to maintain it for you. He can’t give logistical support to human prosperity. Therefore, pseudo happiness quickly evaporates in time of historical disaster or divine discipline. The children of Israel were happy when they rejected the manna from heaven and asked God for quail, and in their happiness notice what happened, NUM 11:33 “While the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the anger of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD struck the people with a very severe plague.”
Job 15:21 “Sounds of terror are in his ears, while at peace the destroyer comes upon him.”
The Jews had pseudo happiness as they rejected Bible doctrine and notice what happened to them in JER 25:10 “Moreover, I will take from them the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones and the light of the lamp.”
Jer 25:11 “And this whole land shall be a desolation and a horror, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.”
So, pseudo happiness quickly evaporates in time of historical disaster. Pseudo happiness is also quickly wiped out by boredom, frustration, and the frantic search for happiness. The believer who has anything related to pseudo happiness is miserable with what he has. Pseudo happiness doesn’t sustain mankind, but destroys both his perspective and his eternal future.
So, happiness is an individual state of the soul and actually has nothing to do with associations in life.
Unhappy people seek happiness through the control of their environment, including persons in their environment like family, friends, and loved ones. They do this in one of two ways:
1) By causing those around them to have a guilt complex or a guilt reaction for alleged or real neglect.
2) By arousing pity from others in their state of self-pity.
Self-pity is a monstrous thing! If you’re dating someone who is obsessed with self-pity, move away from them like the plague! The attention that comes through pity is the worst attention you can receive. Pity is the flattery that the failure craves so that he or she may preserve their excuses and their self-esteem. In fact, self-pity occurs in the life of the believer who loses intimacy with TLJC.
So the arrogance of unhappiness, or pseudo happiness, not only seeks to dominate and enslave, but also has wide emotional swings. It is one of the many reasons for neurosis and psychosis in believers.
Establishment happiness is the temporal happiness of the unbeliever who lives by establishment principles. This happiness is derived from submitting to the laws of divine establishment, which are designed to remove arrogance and fear from the life, and to replace them with a genuine humility. This results in a capacity for life and the attainment of human honor and integrity. This explains why so many unbelievers are happier than many believers; living in the laws of divine establishment can provide happiness for them.
Establishment is for believer and unbeliever alike; however if a believer just lives under establishment happiness and rejects the plan of God, he will be under divine discipline and therefore will not experience establishment happiness.
Under establishment happiness, the unbeliever moves beyond morality to a place of limited virtue, becoming a person of honor. The unbeliever can achieve this happiness through enforced and genuine humility from the laws of divine establishment.
The key to happiness in the unbeliever is having a fantastic humility. For example, the unbeliever can marry a woman with whom he has total compatibility (i.e., compatibility of both soul and body), and at the same time he can work in some job or profession which he enjoys. Ecc 9:9 mentions these two areas of life, marriage and work, as the basis for which unbelievers can have a genuine short-term happiness compatible with their capacity.
Ecc 9:9 “Enjoy life [establishment happiness] with your right woman whom you have loved all the days of your life of vanity which God has given you under the sun, for this is your reward in life [establishment happiness], and [enjoy] your occupation in which you are working under the sun.”
This successful marriage and happiness in your occupation is a blessing from God even to the unbelievers. In this passage, note that both the woman and the job are said to be a gift from God. When it says Ecc 9:9 “Enjoy life with your right woman whom you have loved all the days of your life of vanity which God has given you under the sun,” it is not saying that God has given you the life of vanity, but the right woman and the occupation. The doctrine of right man / right woman is illustrated throughout the Bible. It is taught very clearly in GEN 2:18-25, Ecc 9:9, 1CO 7:17, PRO 18:22, 19:14, Pro 5, 31, just to name a few passages.
So again, Ecc 9:9 “Enjoy life [establishment happiness] with your right woman whom you have loved all the days of your life of vanity which God has given you under the sun, for this is your reward in life [establishment happiness], and [enjoy] your occupation in which you are working under the sun.”
A “life of vanity” refers to the life of the unbeliever. Whatever kind of life it is, it’s very short-term. As flawed as the unbeliever is, God has provided for him a system in which he can have happiness in marriage. Note that God gives life even to the unbeliever. There are rewards in this life for certain unbelievers who have virtue and honor based upon establishment principles. The type of work is not specified here; it can be any job he enjoys. This explains why some unbelievers are very happy, but remember it is very short-term. Beyond the grave they will first face Torments in Hades, and then spend eternity in the Lake of Fire.
So two things can make an unbeliever happy: a successful relationship in marriage, and his occupation in life. Happiness in these two areas comes to the unbeliever who has developed honor and integrity from the laws of divine establishment. Note what is not mentioned: social life, pleasure, emotion, stimulation, etc. This happiness is the unbeliever’s reward for compliance with the laws of divine establishment; however, it is not a reward for the unbeliever’s morality, which carries with it the sting of arrogance. Once a person becomes arrogant about his morality, he enters into self-righteousness and crusader arrogance, and becomes the unhappiest of all people because he is judgmental.
The tragedy of establishment happiness is that there is no perpetuation of this happiness beyond the grave, which brings it to a screeching halt (if not terminated before then). But even when perpetuated to the grave, establishment happiness cannot be perpetuated beyond time.
And eternity is a long, long time.
However, all too often, establishment happiness becomes a victim of circumstances. Certain adverse circumstances are stronger than establishment happiness and can wipe it out. So establishment happiness cannot even survive tragedy or any real adversity; it is a restricted and temporary happiness. It is vulnerable to environment and circumstances. For example, a man may be very happy with his wife. But if she becomes unhappy and leaves him, his reward in life is gone. If a man loves and enjoys his job or profession, this can also be lost. Therefore, establishment happiness is dependent upon cognition and compliance with establishment principles, according to Rom 13.
Where establishment does not exist, establishment happiness does not exist. This is not a reference to morality or self-righteousness. Morality is merely the bottom step in establishment; honor and integrity are higher. The result of obedience to the laws of divine establishment is not a happiness associated with pleasant things, but a happiness associated with important things.
Under the laws of divine establishment, establishment happiness is possible when one’s children turn out well. Look at PRO 23:24-25 “The father of the virtuous children will be happy [establishment happiness]. Therefore, he who brings forth a wise son will be happy. Let your father and your mother be happy. Let her who gave birth to you be happy.” When one’s children have virtue and integrity, this gives the parent or parents a measure of prosperity.
Again however, establishment happiness is a temporary happiness which does not sustain anyone under pressure or carry over into eternity. For example, you could be very proud that your children turned out well, and then something may go wrong and your establishment happiness would disappear in a moment. This leaves nothing but scars and emotional hangovers. Establishment happiness doesn’t last!
The most important happiness found in the word of God is perfect happiness which is the possession of God’s Happiness, or +H.
1) For example, establishment happiness is dependent happiness; perfect happiness is independent happiness. Establishment happiness is dependent on circumstances; perfect happiness is independent in the soul of any believer who has attained any stage of spiritual adulthood. It begins at spiritual self-esteem, continues at spiritual autonomy, and becomes the most fantastic thing in life at spiritual maturity.
2) Perfect happiness or divine happiness is the monopoly of the believer in spiritual adulthood. It only belongs to those few believers who reach the three stages of spiritual adulthood.
3) However, relatively few believers have this perfect happiness because it requires consistent perception, metabolization and application of Bible doctrine and the advance to spiritual adulthood, especially maturity.
This requires something that no lazy-minded person can do, and that is to concentrate on anything for very long. Now, this is why our Lord said in Joh 8:31 “Jesus therefore was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, [then] you are truly disciples of Mine;'”
Joh 8:32 “and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
In Joh 8:31 “If you abide in My word,” the word “abide” is the aorist-active-subjunctive of the verb meno, which looks like meinete in the Greek, meaning “to stay in a given place, to continue, to dwell, to endure, to be present, to remain, to stand, not to depart, or to last.” This is an excellent definition of persevering as a disciple of Bible doctrine.
Joh 8:31 “If you abide [stay, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, and not depart, or last] in My word, [then] you are truly disciples of Mine;”
You see, relatively few believers have this perfect happiness because it requires consistent perception, metabolization and application of Bible doctrine and the advance to spiritual adulthood, especially maturity. It takes work and discipline to keep coming to Bible class and study God’s word on a daily basis. And that’s why our Lord said in Joh 8:31 “If you abide in My word, [then] you are truly disciples of Mine.” The word “disciple” is interesting because it’s where we get our word discipline. It’s the noun mathetai which is the plural of mathetes, and it means “a learner, a pupil, a disciple, a person who directs their mind toward something taught by someone.”
That’s why there were the disciples of Moses, JOH 9:28; the disciples of the Pharisees, MAR 2:18; the disciples of John the Baptist, JOH 3:25; the disciples of Paul, ACT 9:25; and of course the disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ, MAT 16:21.
Kittel’s Theological Dictionary of the New Testament in volume four on page 416 says this word denotes a “direct dependence of the one under instruction upon an authority superior in knowledge.” This is why God gave apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastor-teachers, to equip the saints for the work of the ministry and to build up the body of Christ, EPH 4:11-12.
This means that if you know more doctrine than your pastor, it’s time to find a new pastor. When Isaiah used this word, he used it for those who were students of the word of God.
Isa 8:16 “Bind up the testimony, seal the law [the doctrine] among my disciples.”
Isa 50:4 “The Lord God has given me the tongue of disciples, That I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word. He awakens me morning by morning, He awakens my ear to listen as a disciple.”
The word actually means the existence of a personal attachment which shapes the whole life of the disciple, or an intense dedication and devotion to something [in this case the word of God].
So in Joh 8:31 “Jesus therefore was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you abide in My word, [then] you are truly disciples of Mine;”
Joh 8:32 “and you shall know the truth [the doctrine], and the doctrine shall make you free.”
Relatively few believers have this perfect happiness because it requires consistent perception, metabolization and application of Bible doctrine and the advance to spiritual adulthood, especially maturity. It requires something that no lazy-minded person can do, and that is to concentrate on anything for very long. Most believers can’t concentrate on doctrine long enough to learn the plan of God, and they are easily distracted and discouraged.
4) Perfect happiness or God’s happiness carries over into the eternal state. Especially if you pass evidence testing, perfect happiness remains in perpetual status quo under three circumstances.
A) Living as a mature believer.
B) Dying as a mature believer.
C) The eternal state, where you will have a far, far greater happiness than believers who are losers but also in resurrection bodies.
Remember that there are degrees of life after death. The capacity of the mature believer for the most fantastic eternal rewards is built into the perfect happiness the mature believer has.
Perfect happiness, or sharing the happiness of God, can be defined as the happiness of the humanity of Christ during the great power experiment of the hypostatic union. It is the only happiness that does not change with disastrous or difficult circumstances in life.
With the perpetuation of the great power experiment of the hypostatic union into the Church-age, perfect happiness is further defined as divine happiness resident in the soul of the Church-age believer who utilizes his portfolio of invisible assets and divine omnipotence to attain spiritual maturity.
In spiritual maturity, perfect happiness reaches its peak; there is nothing like it in this life! When the positive believer fulfills the PPOG beginning in spiritual adulthood, he attains the ultimate in perfect happiness by utilizing two categories of divine power:
1) The omnipotence of God the Father related to portfolio of invisible assets.
2) The omnipotence of God the Holy Spirit related to the filling of the Spirit, the perception of Bible doctrine and the execution of the PPOG.
Perfect happiness results from the constant perception of Bible doctrine inside the PPOG. This is a perpetual happiness for every category of existence after salvation. That’s why Paul will say to us in PHI 1:21 “For me living is Christ and dying is profit.”
He had this perfect happiness in living, in dying, and in the eternal state waiting for the resurrection.
It’s important to note that opposition from Satan and persecution by other believers in the cosmic system only intensifies the believer’s perfect happiness.
You will never realize how happy you are until you go through certain problems and find out that your happiness has not been taken away.
The perfect happiness of God is not manifested by laughing and joking around about your problems and taking them lightly; but manifested by contentment, peace, composure, tranquility, and being unmoved by the evil around you.
Happiness is not an absence of problems but the ability to deal with them.
Biblical descriptions of the three happiness categories:
A) A perfect description of pseudo-happiness is given in LUK 11:27-28. The woman in this context spoke of happiness, but she was not happy, nor did she understand happiness. She was an unhappy person trying to control her environment.
She attempted to put our Lord down using the false propaganda of women’s liberation.
In LUK 11:27 “And it came about while He said these things [in context, He was speaking about the angelic conflict and the absurdity of self-reformation], one of the women in the crowd raised her voice but shouted, and said to Him, ‘Happy is the womb that carried You, and the breasts at which You nursed.'”
Luk 11:28 “But He said, ‘On the contrary [Wrong!], happy are those who keep hearing and retaining the Word of God.'”
This woman had no class or manners; she was rude and interrupted our Lord. She interrupted to draw attention to herself, because she was jealous, vindictive, and ambitious. She expressed the false doctrine of motherhood; she said that Mary was only happy because she was carrying a baby in her womb. Since she was a student of the Old Testament, she knew that there is no human life in the womb, so she added the phrase “the breasts you have sucked.”
Here she tried to prove that woman is superior to the man. In other words, she is saying, “You may be a great public speaker, Jesus, but you too were once a little baby and a happy mother is the reason why you are here, and the only people who are really happy are mothers who nurse so that their baby can live.
“And the only reason why any man is great like you Jesus is because a woman brought you into the world!”
You see, you’ve got to get a picture of this woman. In the midst of hundreds and perhaps even thousands of people, she yelled out her personal opinion, and tried to put our Lord down and elevate Mary.
In other words, she was saying, “You’re a mere man!”
So, to put Him down, she was pointing out to everyone that this was merely a man from a womb.
Our Lord was perfect and an aristocratic gentleman, so His answer to this arrogant woman, who was not a lady, came from the perfect gentleman!
His first word in verse 28 was “Wrong!” He shouted this right back, and then He went on to explain what real perfect happiness really is. Our Lord taught that perfect happiness is associated with doctrine, not with all the things we associate with happiness. Our Lord gave the perfect definition of perfect happiness.
Luk 11:28 But He said, “Wrong, blessed are those who hear the word of God, and observe it.”
Hearing refers to consistent reception of doctrine. Observing refers to retention of doctrine, converting gnosis to epignosis doctrine by positive volition.
Our Lord could have made an issue out of any of the things she brought out, but He only made an issue of doctrine. He did not make an issue of her arrogance or her cosmic viewpoint on women, but of the Word of God. There is no happiness in life for the believer apart from Bible doctrine, which must come first in his life.
B) Establishment happiness is found in PRO 29:18 “Where there is no revelation [establishment], the people are unrestrained. But happy [establishment happiness] is that person who keeps the Law [laws of divine establishment].”
C) Perfect happiness is found in 1JO 1:4 “In fact, we write these things that our happiness may be brought to completion.”
John got this message from the upper room discourse. Whatever perfect happiness is, it comes through the communication of doctrine, and it is a process which has to be completed.
He has this happiness because he has utilized his portfolio of invisible assets and divine omnipotence to learn doctrine and attain spiritual maturity.
In spiritual maturity, perfect happiness reaches its peak; there is nothing like it in this life! Perfect happiness is a perpetual happiness for every category of existence after salvation.
Last evening we noted that relatively few believers have perfect happiness or the happiness of God because it requires consistent dedication and devotion to studying the Word of God.
It requires concentration on the will of God and the plan of God. That’s why we are told that the same happiness that TLJC had in His humanity while on this earth is the same happiness that is available to us.
The relationship between our Lord’s perfect happiness and the Church-age believer’s perfect happiness is given in JOH 15:11 “I have taught you these things, in order that My happiness [perfect happiness] might be in you, and that your happiness may be full or completed.”
The phrase “may be full” is aorist-passive-subjunctive of the verb pleroo, which has four basic meanings:
1) To fill up a deficiency. We are all deficient of the happiness of God and need doctrine in the soul to give it to us.
2) To fully possess. The believer must be fully possessed by the Holy Spirit and Bible doctrine before he can be fully possessed by the happiness of God
3) To fully influence. The believer is fully influenced by Bible doctrine so that he can have capacity for happiness.
4) To fill with a certain quality. The filling of the Spirit and doctrine resident in the soul is the highest quality with which the believer can be filled.
In His thirty-three years on earth until His resurrection, ascension, and session, our Lord had perfect happiness. He acquired perfect happiness through His residence in the predesigned plan of God, and if you remain in God’s plan for your life on a consistent basis, you will eventually experience the perfect happiness of God.
In this dispensation of the Church, we have the potential for the same perfect happiness that our Lord Jesus Christ had. This happiness sustained Him during the most intensified form of human suffering ever, when He was judged for our sins upon the cross.
For we read in HEB 12:2 “Be concentrating on Jesus [occupation with Christ], the author and perfecter of our doctrine, who because of His exhibited happiness He endured the cross, having disregarded the shame, and He sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Our Lord attained perfect happiness while living inside the PPOG for His life which allowed Him to have happiness in His humanity, and that same perfect happiness can be attained by us. There is nothing that even comes close to it on planet earth. It is one of the greatest of all objectives in the Christian life.
When Jesus Christ was being judged for our sins on the cross, He demonstrated the fact that the mature believer with perfect happiness can endure anything in life. This is one of the reasons for the extension of the great power experiment of the hypostatic union into the Church-age. Therefore, the power that sustained our Lord on the cross, the omnipotence of God the Holy Spirit inside the PPOG, is now available to us as members of the royal family of God.
With this availability of divine power, every Church-age believer can attain the same perfect happiness which carried our Lord through a type of suffering beyond human imagination. Notice in JOH 15:11, the words “in you” teaches that happiness resides in the individual. This happiness “becomes completed or fulfilled,” meaning it develops in stages. Spiritual self-esteem is only the beginning of perfect happiness. By advancing through providential preventative suffering to spiritual autonomy, perfect happiness becomes stronger. By advancing through momentum testing to spiritual maturity, perfect happiness reaches its peak. When you pass evidence testing, then you have the perfect happiness that will exist forever and ever; in living, in dying, and in the eternal state forever.
This is one of the most phenomenal of all the things the believer can ever experience. This is the one “thing” you can take with you when you die, for perfect happiness resides in your soul, which you do take with you.
The execution of the PPOG through the utilization of available divine power is the only means of attaining perfect happiness. Pro 3:13 “Happiness belongs to the person who finds wisdom, even to the person who gains understanding.”
Wisdom is metabolized doctrine being applied to your experience. You gain perfect happiness through gaining understanding about what life is truly all about. The only thing you can take with you wherever you go is what resides in your soul. This tells us that happiness depends upon the way that you think. Therefore, perfect happiness is more of a mental attitude toward life than it is the result of acquisitions or accomplishments.
Happiness is in the heart, not in the circumstances. Abraham Lincoln said, “People are just about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Unless we make up our minds to be happy no matter what the circumstances of our lives may be, we will never find happiness.
It is the way we think and act as we travel the road of life that determines whether or not we will be happy. The journey through life has its ups and downs, and none of us can be happy all the time. However, if we don’t find at least some happiness along every mile of that road, then we will not find the fullness of happiness at the end of the journey. If we do not find happiness daily with our walk with TLJC and our relationship with God, we need to change our attitude, instead of pinning our hope on finding happiness later on. Happiness is found along the way, not at the end of the road.
True happiness is to enjoy the present, without depending upon the future change of circumstances.
We may think that if we just had more possessions and a different status, or fewer problems, we would be happy, but we wouldn’t. It is foolish to look forward to the day when we will have no major problems to make us unhappy, because that day will never arrive in our lives. Some people even think that they need to identify and eliminate the causes of their unhappiness. But, no matter how many perceived causes of our unhappiness are eliminated, we will still be unhappy unless we change our attitude, and begin to develop the happiness of God through doctrine resident in the soul.
Point 4. Perfect Happiness Must Be Related to the Essence of God.
Happiness is actually a form of energy, an energy beyond human imagination or understanding. God’s perfect happiness is an energy that is available to us!
However, if you’re going to enjoy happiness, you need to understand the omniscience of God.
God’s omniscience knows all the sin and evil, all the cruel and vicious things in angelic and human history. This means that He has always known all the thoughts, decisions, motivations, and actions of every person in history. Yet none of this has ever caused God to lose His happiness for a moment. Therefore, nothing can destroy or change the happiness of God. It’s impossible for God to be unhappy. Neither the failure of angels nor members of the human race has ever given God even a second of unhappiness.
If you are ever going to have the happiness of God, you must deal with the issue of guilt and condemnation from your own failures. Until you make peace with who you are, you’ll never be happy and content with what you have. You can’t go through life having the happiness of God thinking that at the end of the tunnel, there’s a God waiting to condemn you. No one could have any happiness if they think that every thought and action is being monitored by a judgmental God.
The road to happiness involves finding the courage to take responsibility for our own mental attitude and to use the divine solutions available to us.
We are commanded to be joyful and happy because our Lord has borne our sorrows. With this in mind, don’t be familiar with this passage but notice it in relationship to having the happiness of God.
Isa 53:3 “He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face, He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.”
Isa 53:4 “Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted.”
Isa 53:5 “But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being [fell] upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.”
Isa 53:6 “All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him not on us.”
Isa 53:7 “He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth.”
He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief so that we need not be. You see, our own personal sins and limitations are the things that make us sorrowful. However, He had no sins and limitations; He was not sad for His sake, but for ours. He was a man of sorrows so that we could be men and women filled with happiness. He was acquainted with grief so that we could be filled with joy. He bore our griefs and carried our sorrows so that we could bear His happiness and rejoice within ourselves. He was pierced through for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities so that we would not be condemned for any personal sins. As verse 6 says, the Lord has caused the iniquities of us all to fall on Him so that they would not fall upon us.
So, if we remain guilty and condemned after understanding what He did for us, it is because we do not accept what He did for us. And if we suffer because of this, we deserve to suffer because all we need to do is believe what He did on our behalf. That’s why happiness is a commandment.
God’s happiness is also related to His personal, perfect, and complete sense of destiny. If you have a sense of destiny and know where your life is going, you will be relaxed and able to stay on the road to happiness. Happiness and a sense of destiny always go together. Happiness is essentially a state of going in the proper direction with all of your heart, without regret or reservation. Therefore, it is impossible for the spiritually mature believer who is executing the predesigned plan of God to be unhappy. No power in this world can make him unhappy.
Psa 16:11 teaches three ways in which God shares His perfect happiness with us.
Psa 16:11 “Thou wilt make known to me the path of life; In Thy presence is fulness of joy; In Thy right hand there are pleasures forever.”
The happiness described here as belon