. . . the gospel of the glory of the blessed God . . . (1 Timothy 1:11)
This is a beautiful phrase in 1 Timothy, buried beneath the too-familiar surface of Bible buzzwords. But after you dig it up, it sounds like this: “the good news of the glory of the happy God.” The word “blessed” is not the one that means “praised,” but the one that means “happy.”
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 happy the way he is.
God’s glory consists much in the fact that he is happy beyond our wildest imagination. As the great eighteenth-century preacher, Jonathan Edwards, said, “Part of God’s fullness which he communicates is his happiness. This happiness consists in enjoying and rejoicing in himself; so does also the creature’s happiness.”
And this is a key part of the gospel, Paul says: “the gospel of the glory of the happy God.” It is good news that God is gloriously happy. No one would want to spend eternity with a gloomy, unhappy God.
If God is unhappy, then the goal of the gospel — to be with God forever — is not a happy goal, and that means it would be no gospel at all. But, in fact, Jesus invites us to spend eternity with a happy God when he says, “Enter into the joy of your master” (Matthew 25:23).
Jesus said in John 15:11, “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” Jesus spoke, and lived, and died that his joy — God’s joy — might be in us and our joy might be full. Therefore the gospel is “the gospel of the glory of the happy God.”