Happiness In Being Loved, and Loving In Being Happy

Article by

Founder & Teacher, desiringGod.org

It feels good to be loved. And this feeling is not a superficial zing or fleeting “high”. I just read this morning that God’s aim in saving us is “that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:7).

Stay with this for a minute; it’s overwhelming.

  1. God is graciously disposed to us. He feels kindness toward us.
  2. The amount of this grace and kindness is described in terms of riches or wealth, and the degree of the wealth is called immeasurable.
  3. But the immeasurable wealth of grace is not like a trust account out of reach in a bank; it is something God intends to demonstrate or show us. The whole account will be withdrawn and spent on us.
  4. The scope and variety of God’s kindness toward us is so great that it will not take one age but multiple coming ages to accomplish. Which simply means: his kindness will never be exhausted.

So God will never run out of fresh ways to make us feel loved. The wealth of his grace is immeasurable. It will take eternity for him to show us all the kindness he has to show.

This makes me very happy. And it is very important that not only I but all the new elders of Bethlehem be happy in their work. Or as the Bible says, “Serve the Lord with gladness” (Psalm 100:2). All eleven elders were strongly affirmed Sunday night (all by more than 93%). Why is it so important for them to be happy in their ministry?

Because the Bible says that a church experiences love through the happiness of its leaders. Consider Hebrews 13:17 – “They are keeping watch over your souls, as men who will have to give an account. Let them do this joyfully, and not sadly, for that would be of no advantage to you.

It is not loving to be of no advantage to a church. So, when elders go about their work sadly, the church experiences less love. It isn’t loving for elders to lead in a gloomy way, because it is no advantage to the church. The church gets its greatest spiritual advantage when its elders are leading with joy.

So if you love the church of Christ, “which he purchased with his own blood,” then I urge you to pray for the happiness of your new elders. And since you know that the deepest and most lasting happiness comes from being loved by God, pray that they would be overwhelmed by the reality of Ephesians 2:7. Then it will come true that they will be happy in being loved and you will be loved in their happiness. And all this will be from God whose happiness overflows in love to all who hope in him (Psalm 147:11).

Happy for your sake in him,

Pastor John