Most people will say that one of the things that they want out of life is to ‘be happy’.
But what do they mean by that? Do they mean that they want to feel content with what they have already achieved in their lives? Do they mean that they want to always be laughing and smiling?
Do they mean that they do not want to have anything in their lives which makes them sad?
Is someone only happy when the good things in their lives outweigh the not so good things?
Or is being happy ultimately a ‘work in progress’.
Is it something that people continually strive for, but realise that there is never going to be a time when they are going to be completely happy about every single aspect of their lives? Is one of the functions of religion to ‘make people happy?’
Indeed does God want us to be happy?
I would say that He definitely wants us to be happy with our lives – as much as possible. Jesus came into the world at a time and in a place where many of the people there were unhappy, for a number of reasons.
But Jesus gave them reasons to be happy. He told them that God loved every one of them. He told them that God would forgive them for the things they had done wrong if they asked Him to. Jesus made many people happy when he made them well again.
And through his resurrection he demonstrated to them that if they had faith in him then they would enjoy a life after this one.
But his followers had not only to be concerned about their own happiness they also had to do what they could to make other people happy too.