April 2, 2023 God is Happy Part 2

God is Happy

Part Two

April 2, 2023


Read Psalm 45:7-8 (New Century Version)

This is part two of a message that I have entitled, God is Happy. God is happy! The first thing I wish to do in this installment is to disabuse you of the false notion that there is some kind of difference between joy and happiness. Joy and happiness, of course, are English words. But various translations of the Bible will translate the same word, in Greek (the original language of the New Testament) for example, sometimes as happiness and sometimes as joy.

Somebody will hear a preacher on the radio try to say that there is a difference between joy and happiness and then somebody will just say what they heard, like a parrot repeats what their master says. But what is the standard for the meaning of words? It is not preachers. The standard is known as a dictionary. We can’t just make up meanings to words. “I think the word, dry, means full of water.” No. We go to the standard.  For “joy;”

the emotion of great delight or happiness; keen pleasure.[1]

For “happiness:”

Good fortune; pleasure; contentment; joy.[2]

Clearly, they mean the same thing.

As we consider what God has revealed about himself, keep in mind that the Bible uses more than one word to describe God’s happiness. There are synonyms for happiness. Some of these words are:

  • Joy or joyfulness
  • Enjoyment
  • Glad or gladness
  • Delight
  • Pleasure

Whenever the Scriptures use any of these words, happiness is being referred.

God is happy. I do not mean that he is only happy now and then, as if he is only happy when things go just right in the world (and that would be rarely, wouldn’t it?). I mean that he is happy all the time. Happiness is his constant disposition.[3]

Last time,  we saw three things which bring God the Father much happiness.


[1] God has pleasure in the Son.


Behold my servant, whom I uphold,

my chosen, in whom my soul delights; [4]


God delights in the Son! He is well pleased with the Son! Remember at the baptism of Jesus that he spoke from heaven, saying for all to hear that he is well pleased with the Son.


God is not only pleased with the Son, he is well pleased!


God delights in Jesus. Since Jesus has always been and will always be, this means that God is in a continual state of delight. Do you see how this must be true?  If he delights in the Son and the Son is with him (as he always is) then God is always in delight. What a wonderful condition to be in! We are unaccustomed to it because our delights are passing and even fleeting. But not so with God.


God’s pleasure in the Son reveals something more.


Why does God have so much pleasure in the Son? It is because he reflects the life of God!


Therefore, we can say:


[2] God is happy in Himself. As John Piper has well said:


“We may conclude that the pleasure of God in his Son is pleasure in himself. Since the Son is the image of God and the radiance of God and the form of God, equal with God, and indeed is God, therefore, God’s delight in his Son is delight in himself.”[5]


Since God never changes and since he always exists, he is continually happy!


[3] last, we saw that God takes pleasure in all he does.


God is pleased in what he does and he is always actively involved in the world. Therefore, he is always happy!


Presently, I would like to tell you one more reason why God is always happy.


[4] God is happy in his creation. He takes pleasure in what he has created. Pleasure, of course, is always attended with happiness. God did not have to make a physical world, but he did. And he very much likes what he has created.


C.S. Lewis wrote this:


I know some muddle-headed Christians have talked as if Christianity thought that sex, or the body, or pleasure, were bad in themselves. But they were wrong. Christianity is almost the one of the great religions which thoroughly approves of the body – which believes that matter is good, that God Himself once took on a human body, and that some kind of body is going to be given to us even in heaven and is going to be an essential part of our happiness, our beauty, and our energy. [6]


Everything God has created in this universe is not only good, but beautiful. Some things are more beautiful than others, but each created thing has its own wonder.


The first year that I lived and worked on Maui, I was renting a house that was just a few hundred feet from the beach and, in order to drive to work, every morning I would drive the narrow highway that went alongside the ocean for a many miles until you approached the main town, Wailuku, where the West Maui mountains rose up in their own splendor. Every morning, I would be amazed at the beauty of the ocean, the loveliness of the palm trees,  the charm of the hills, and the magnificence of the mountains. It never grew old, and I thanked God for his creative wonder every single day!


His creation is simply marvelous! [Play 10 minute video: 10 Most Beautiful Sea Creatures by 4 Ever Green]


Consider this: Scuba gear and underwater cameras are less than a 100 years old. Who saw these marvelous creatures for the last 6000 years? Almost no one! The beauty of these underwater creatures was for the pleasure of God! God takes pleasure in what he has created. It makes him happy. And, since his creation continues to exist and maintains its beauty, God is always happy about it!


Genesis 1 describes for us not only the fact of a well-ordered creation, but also God’s response to his creation. Five times God stands back, you might say, and considers what he has done and, each time, the text says, “And God saw that it was good.” (verses 4,12,18,21,25).


God was glad that he had created! It’s as if he said, “Yes, that’s it. That will do just fine. That’s exactly right.”[7]


Let the glory of Yahweh endure forever;

Let Yahweh be glad in His works;[8]


Notice two things about this verse.  Synonymous parallelism is present. That is, the first line and the second line are saying the same thing, although in slightly different ways. God’s glory and his gladness in what he has created are the same thing! Second, when David writes, “Let the glory…”, and, “let Yahweh be glad…” he doesn’t mean that we or anyone can stop it! He is exulting in a certainty that will come to pass, has come to pass, and is taking place right now! God is glad in his creation.


The Lord desires to share his happiness with us. Remember this passage from the gospel of John last week:


As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. [9]


How can we be happy. There is more than one way. One way is by enjoying the same things that God enjoys. We can:


  • Take pleasure in the Son
  • Be happy in Who God is. He is good, generous, compassionate, loving, and so much more!
  • Be glad in what God is doing. He is constantly working in the world and in your life! And, it is all for your benefit.
  • Enjoy his creation. There is beauty everywhere. Notice it. Be glad in it. Thank him for it!


That is all one way, even though there are four things to be happy about. The other way is by relying on what the Lord Jesus said in John 15. We can experience joy by:


  • Knowing that he loves you (vs. 9)
  • Abiding in his love (vs.9), that is, living in the sense of his love for you.
  • Keeping his commandments (vs. 10), as an expression of our love to him


Many people experience a lack of being loved. But, if you belong to Jesus, he loves you! If we live in the sense of his love and heed his words then we will experience the joy that he promised.


God is happy. He desires to share that with us. Enjoy what God enjoys.  Choose this day to live in the enjoyment of Who he is and what he had done. Forget your problems. God is working on them. He has a timing that is better than ours. Happiness is a choice. Make the right choice.




[1] dictionary.com

[2] dictionary.com

[3] He still grieves on occasion. He is still displeased with the sinful actions of people. Those experiences of God are consistent with his constant happiness.

[4] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Is 42:1). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[5] John Piper,  The Pleasures of God (Multnomah, Portland, OR; 1991), p 38.

[6] Cited by John Piper in The Pleasures of God (Multnomah, Portland, OR; 1991), p 82; originally from Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis.

[7] Ibid, p 83.

[8] Legacy Standard Bible (2021). (Ps 104:31). La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

[9] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Jn 15:9–11). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.