God Calls Us to Be Holy, Not Happy



“…but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:-15-16 ESV


“God wants me to be happy.” I hear this statement frequently today in our society when someone is trying to justify their sin. Happiness in our culture means fulfilling the desires of our own hearts instead of the desires of God’s…it takes what we crave and aspire towards and acts like that is what God would want for us—whether this would be porn addictions, adultery in marriages, the homosexual agenda, or countless others.

God desires our holiness and our obedience more than our happiness. Don’t get me wrong—our Heavenly Father wants His children to be happy in this life. But what makes us happy and what makes God happy could differ. Is your porn addiction making you happy and temporarily satisfied? God says to flee from sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18). Do you believe the only way to happiness is to get out of your currently conflicted marriage? God desires you to stay and to fight for your marriage (Matthew 19:6). All of these things can cause temporary happiness on this Earth, but God wants more for His children—He wants eternal joy only found in the blood of Jesus Christ. We are called to live a holy life for the sake of our own good and happiness. Happiness in this life is superficial and based on circumstances, while true joy is deep and based on Christ.

John Piper states, “It can be very misleading at best to say God desires your obedience more than your happiness, because obedience to these commands is happiness.” Sisters, God knows what is best for His children. He calls us to a life of holiness so we can have happiness…a happiness that rejoices even in the hardest of times. He wants us to be more than happy—denying ourselves, our desires, and our sinfulness, and laying them at the cross of Christ where we will find everlasting joy in Him.


Heavenly Father, thank You for showing me Your ways are better than mine. The calling of holiness is not always easy, and I know I am a sinner and will mess up. But because of Your grace, Your mercy, and Your forgiveness, I am a new creation and can strive to please You. I know it is only by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross that I am granted eternal happiness in You. Thank you, God, for this precious gift. Amen.

Your Turn

Do you find your happiness and joy in Christ or the things of this world? Turn from your fleshly desires and start living a life of holiness, the life God has called you to live. There you will find true happiness even in the midst of pain.