God Isn’t Gloomy


The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples. The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations. (Psalm 33:10–11)

“Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases” (Psalm 115:3). The implication of this text is that God has the right and power to do whatever makes him happy. That is what it means to say that God is sovereign.

Think about it for a moment: If God is sovereign and can do anything he pleases, then none of his purposes can be frustrated. “The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples. The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations” (Psalm 33:10–11).

And if none of his purposes can be frustrated, then he must be the happiest of all beings.

This infinite, divine happiness is the fountain from which the Christian (Hedonist) drinks and longs to drink more deeply.

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, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, 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, or maybe try to work for him to earn some little favor.

But that is not the way God is. He is never out of sorts with frustration or discouragement. And, as Psalm 147:11 says, he “takes pleasure . . . in those who hope in his steadfast love.” So the aim of the Christian Hedonist is not to avoid this God, not to run from him, or tiptoe through the living room lest his gloominess become anger. No, our aim is to hope in his steadfast love. To run to him. To be happy in God, to delight in God, to cherish and enjoy his fellowship and favor.