“God wants us to be happy always”
If you were Pope Benedict, would you have written that sentence? I’m guessing most people would think God wants us to be ‘holy’; wouldn’t God want us to spend time praying, because we assume that is what it means to be holy? Perhaps God would want us always to be ‘compassionate’, taking care of others; after all, Jesus told his followers to be compassionate as their heavenly Father is compassionate? High up on the list would be ‘forgiving’: Jesus insisted that unless people are prepared to forgive others from the heart, they can scarcely expect God to forgive them.
You’ll have your own suggestions for things that God wants us always to be, but I bet few people would put ‘happy’ on that list: Pope Benedict did, thought, when he addressed poor children in Mexico, including children there who had suffered so much. So why is Pope Benedict so sure that God always wants us to be happy?
To be happy is to know you have what is really important: happiness is not wealth, power, influence, entertainment: happiness is knowing that what you need is exactly what God wants for you. And to know that you have all that God wants you to have is to be very fortunate indeed. After his resurrection, Jesus left behind gifts to ensure our happiness, gifts which provide us with what God wants for us: 1) a peace the world cannot give: with that peace, we need not be afraid, 2) the Holy Spirit, to teach us everything we need to know of God, 3) the power to forgive, because when we release others from the burden of the hurt they did to us, we release ourselves as well. Perhaps Pope Benedict chose happiness because he knows that only true happiness can make us free.
So…are you happy? And if not, what stops you from being truly happy?
Rev. Robert Hill