Jesus Didn’t Come to Make You Happy

I’ve recently been dealing with the mental illness of a loved one, it’s sapped my strength with sleepless nights and chaotic days. I’m no stranger to trials, I’ve had times in my life where I was in the very center of God’s will and WAS NOT HAPPY. You see happiness, in a very real sense, depends on circumstances. Not necessarily something as trite as “possessions” but deeper circumstances… health, work satisfaction, relationships etc…

 

This has led me to believe that there are a certain amount of fabrications being sold as, or to, Christianity. There are scores of believers that falsely believe they are out of God’s perfect will because they’re having a hard time, or aren’t happy. Or successful. Or healed. Or, or, or…

Whatever this gospel is presented as, be it the promise of prosperity, or emotional health, or even physical health, this isn’t the Gospel. It isn’t Christianity. It certainly isn’t what Jesus promised…

Now can we find happiness and peace in Christ and following him? Yeah, we can. But that has as much to do with our perspective and willingness to wait as it does with his promises. We are given HOPE. A future reality based on a present certainty.

There are those that speak of peace on earth, as if it’s a present reality… tell us, oh American Christian, how much peace are those Christian brothers and sisters in Iraq enjoying? We have westernized Christianity to the point where it has lost its point. It isn’t about present peace and prosperity. They mistake the PEACE in Christ to be PEACE in circumstances; the prosperity of the resurrection as present prosperity.

Just last night I read a post on the “What does the Bible Say” wall declaring an ill child well in the name of Jesus. “I declare him healed in the mighty name of Jesus Christ.” Such foolishness, as if Jesus was at our beck and call and was nothing more than a big Santa Claus… well he isn’t and that child died. How does this build the faith of those poor parents?

No the sad reality is that people get sick and die. People loose their jobs and go bankrupt. Cars breakdown, people breakdown. Consider John the Baptist. Here is a man that Jesus said was full of the Holy Spirit. A man that stood tall among men. The forerunner of the Messiah. A man that stood toe to toe with the Pharisees, telling them to bring back works to prove their repentance. Here is the man on the banks of the Jordan River, who stood boldly pointing toward Jesus and declaring with conviction “BEHOLD THE LAMB OF GOD WHO TAKES AWAY THE SINS OF THE WORLD!” This John was later imprisoned for speaking out against corruption in the leadership of the kingdom. The man that multitudes followed, the man that preached with boldness, the man that baptized Jesus, the man, who in a wonderful fit of humility, declared himself to be unworthy to lace the Lord’s sandals, (teaching his disciples the valuable lesson that He must increase and I must decrease) this man, rotting in a cold cell in the palace began to doubt. He was allowed visitors and asked them to go to Jesus and ask Him if He was “the one” or if they should look for another… What?!? Did Jesus rebuke him for his doubt? Did he cut him down when he was at his lowest? What did Jesus do? He told the men to go back and confirm his faith by witnessing to the miracles He had been doing. Go, go tell John, the blind see, the lame walk, the deaf hear! In other words, rest easy John, you were right.

However take note of something… Jesus didn’t suit up His apostles in combat gear, there were no night vision goggles, no clandestine plans of a daring rescue. No. None of these things. John the Baptist was beheaded in prison at the request of a manipulative girl and her evil mother! Jesus didn’t break in, didn’t rescue him. But when John did die, he entered a better state, a better place. He entered into his rest.

So NO Jesus didn’t come to make you happy.

So why did Jesus come? What is it all about? It’s about Jesus being born to die a cruel death, NOT BECAUSE God is evil, and hates sin, but because HIS creation embraced darkness rather than light… Jesus came to save His creation from her sin. He came to offer us a second chance. He came to offer us HOPE.

Jesus came to SAVE His creation FROM themselves FOR Himself.

John 16:31–33; 17:1–5(NKJV)
31 Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? 32 Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. 33 These things I have spoken to you, that IN ME you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” 1Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, 2 as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. 3 And this is eternal life, THAT THEY MAY KNOW YOU, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. 4 I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. 5 And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.

So at the end of the day, is there happiness in Knowing Jesus? In knowing God? Is there peace in Knowing Jesus? It all depends on your willingness to open your heart and allow God to redirect your focus toward Him… to yield to His presence, to give over your circumstances and to say, no matter what, Jesus is my savior and worthy of my worship; come hell or high water. Set your affections on things above, look unto Jesus the author and finisher of your faith, don’t be weary in doing well, be firm, steadfast, in your faith, KNOWING your labor is NOT in vain in the Lord… Keep on going, HE is WORTH it, all of it, whether there be happiness in circumstances or not.

Perhaps one of my favorite passages of Scripture is found in Daniel..
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.” Daniel‬ ‭3‬:‭16-18‬ NKJV‬‬‬‬‬‬