Emmanuel Ndikumana was nineteen years old when he heard that a group of young men in Burundi planned to murder him in two weeks. He chose to stay where he was and survived the attempted murder through God’s amazing providence. When telling me his story, Emmanuel made this comment: “You Americans have a strange attitude toward death; you act as if it’s the end.”
The truth is, we’ll be far happier in this life if we understand it isn’t our only chance for happiness . . . and neither is it our best chance. I’ve read books on happiness stressing that we must be happy right here and now, living in the moment, because this is all we have. But the Christian worldview is that God’s people will have an eternity of present-tense happiness. This assurance of never-ending happiness is capable of front-loading joy into our lives today.
Jonathan Edwards said of God’s people, “They are not only invited to go with Christ, and to dwell with him, but to inherit a kingdom with him; to sit down with him on his throne, and to receive the honour and happiness of a heavenly kingdom. . . . God made heaven on purpose for them, and fitted it for their delight and happiness.”
In the ages to come, we’ll remember past happiness and its cause (God) and look forward to future happiness and its cause (God). So if you’re not happy today, or if your happiness isn’t as deep as you wish, relax. Take a deep breath. You’re not missing your only opportunity to be happy! The time is coming when there will be nothing you can do except be happy. And that time will never end! Still, the Bible makes clear that God doesn’t want you to wait until then to be happy in Christ.
All who know Jesus will live together in that resurrected world, with the Lord we love and the friends we cherish. We’ll embark together on the ultimate adventure in a spectacular new universe awaiting our exploration and dominion.
Jesus will be the center of everything. Happiness will be the lifeblood of our resurrected lives. And just when we think, It doesn’t get any better than this—it will!
If we come to understand the biblical doctrine of the resurrection and the New Earth, we’ll find exactly what we all wish for. So let’s be sure we understand it! How kind of God to provide for us exactly what he wired us to most desire—to be in His presence forever, delighting in Him and each other and enjoying our lives together.
Father Boudreaux wrote in Happiness of Heaven, “Never can there come a day when He will frown upon us, and make us feel that His love for us has grown cold. . . . Never will there come a day when His divine beauty will fade away, or when He will lose his power of making us happy.”
Think of it: millions of years from now, in the presence of the happy God who will never tire of us, we’ll still be young. We’ll be able to say every day, “I will never be separated from my endlessly loving and creative God and Savior, the source of all happiness. Every day has been better than the one before . . . and the best is still yet to be!”
This article originally appeared on EPM.org and is reposted here by permission.