"When you know, when you really know, the sovereignty of God and His Lordship overall things seen and unseen. When you're able to confess Him as the Supreme Ruler overall things and to confess that He is your Lord and you are His possession, then at that point you are the happiest of people. You could not get any happier. Nothing could possibly be better then the happiness you have in the Lordship and the Supremacy of Jesus Christ. When you know that you are situated, located in the heart of the most powerful person and the happiest person to ever live, you can not get any happier then that. When you're able to step back into His rest and live in the high tower of His name, so that when the enemy comes raging against you he cannot find you. That's joy. That's happiness."
-Graham Cooke on the Nature of God
Happiness. Joy. I've heard many teachings on the two, or rather the difference between the two. I've heard and believed that joy is something you have as a Christian. When Jesus is in your heart you can have joy through the hardest of circumstances. For me that has looked like the opposite of depression. If I didn't have a relationship with Him I'd probably have the tendency to become very easily depressed. Now when hard things happen I feel joy inside. An inextinguishable flame on the inside that no matter how dark it is outside there is light in me. But happiness, I've been taught, is different. Happiness is a special gift we receive at different times throughout our life so if you're not happy, well, that's how it goes sometimes. But don't worry because there is always joy.
This morning as I listened to Graham Cooke I couldn't help but be in awe of what He was saying and felt a genuine happiness well up inside of me. What if what I've believed about happiness isn't true? To take what he said and expound on it a bit more we have to ask the question, So what does it mean if I'm not happy?
Moses asked God to show him His glory. And God caused all of His goodness to pass by. The glory of God is the nature of God and if the nature of God is goodness do you think He does not want you to be happy? If happiness is found from knowing and finding yourself in the very Nature that is God, knowing that He is Supreme and resting in that, then perhaps if you are unhappy you do not know or you have forgotten. Or you have let yourself believe a lie about Him.
You don't really know if:
you are feeling rejected and lonely
you are wondering where God is in the midst of your deep pain
you are carrying a little heartbroken boy or girl inside
you have past wounds that have been pulled open again
you ever start to doubt that He is good
you are in the darkness and can't seem to find the light
you are weary and worn out and longing for some place called home
you wonder if you will ever find love
you ever feel afraid
you feel abandoned and discarded
you feel misunderstood
you look to food, drugs, movies, gaming, or any other addiction for satisfaction
you feel you are running out of reasons to get up in the morning
you are in the clutches of depression
you are smiling on the outside but dieing on the inside
you are suffering in silence
Maybe saying we have joy and not happiness is just an excuse. Perhaps believing that happiness is not something we get to have or enjoy at all times is a lie.
"When all your confidence is in the One who made heaven and earth, when everything you tried in life is utterly dependent on the goodness, the mercy, the kindness, the love, the grace, the power of the One person who is Supreme God above all gods - when your present and your future and your health and your destiny and your life depends totally on the God who works for the weak, twisted, and deceitful people, then you simply have to be the happiest people on the face of the earth. Because your happiness is built totally on an unshakable conviction and confidence in His ability to bring change and power to bear on your life. Therefore the most wonderful thing you will ever do with your life is to trust it to the nature of God. Being completely reliant on His character, integrity and nature is the source of your great happiness."