This morning I pulled out an old devotional I bought in college, How Great Thou Art – 365 devotional readings on the attributes of God compiled by Steve Halliday and William Travis. As I was flipping through it, I came across a reading by John Piper on the happiness of God that blessed my soul. Here it is in its entirety:
Can you imagine what it would be like if the God who ruled the world were not happy? What if God were given to grumbling and pouting and depression, like some Jack-and-the-Beanstalk giant in the sky? What if God were frustrated and despondent and gloomy and dismal and discontented and dejected? Could we join David and say, “O God, thou art my God, I seek thee; my soul thirsts for thee; my flesh faints for thee, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water” (Psalm 63:1)?
I don’t think so. We would all relate to God like little children who have a frustrated, gloomy, dismal, discontented father. They can’t enjoy him. They can only try not to bother him, and maybe to work for him to earn some little favor.
But God is not like that; the foundation of the happiness of God is the sovereignty of God: “Our God is in the heavens; he does whatever he pleases” (Psalm 115:3). If God were not sovereign, if the world he made were out of control, frustrating his design again and again – God would not be happy.
Just as our joy is based on the promise that God is strong enough and wise enough to make all things work together for our good, so God’s joy is based on that same sovereign control: he makes all things work together for his glory.
So if our Father’s heart is full of deep unshakable happiness, we may be sure that when we seek our happiness in him we will not find him “out of sorts” when we come. We will not find a frustrated, gloomy, irritable Father who wants to be left alone, but instead a Father whose heart is so full of joy it spills over onto all the thirsty.