“A great part of God’s glory is his happiness. It was inconceivable to the apostle Paul that God could be denied infinite joy and still be all glorious. To be infinitely glorious was to be infinitely – happy. He used the phrase, ‘the glory of the happy God’ because it is a glorious thing for God to be as happy as he is. God’s glory consist such in the fact that he is happy beyond our wildest imagination.” – John Piper
In the film, Chariots of Fire, Eric Liddell is criticized for his desire to train for the Olympic games. In the midst of their discussion, his sister Jennie essentially accuses Liddell of having a problem with idolatry. Liddell utters these words that prove to be the best line in the movie:
God made me fast, and when I run I feel his pleasure.
To view God as happy has a bearing on our worship; it affects our evangelism; it affects the way we approach Scripture. Indeed, it affects our Christian worldview. Randy Alcorn adds, “I believe it’s vital that we not leave our children and future generations of Christians to figure out for themselves that God is happy. Most never will.”1 Instead of making assumptions about God, we want to see what the Scriptures say about him. Over and over again, we learn that God is a happy God!
Over the next two weeks, we will come face-to-face with this glorious reality, the happiness of God.
The Reality of God’s Happiness
In 1 Timothy 1, Paul issues a warning against false teachers and those who teach contrary to sound doctrine; doctrine that is “in accord with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God …” (v. 11).