Although this argument is not necessarily flawed, it is oversimplified. God, as a loving Father, wants His children to be happy, but He first wants them to be obedient. When one is obedient, then one will be happy. Several examples prove this assertion.
- Abraham (Genesis 22:4-5). He was commanded to offer his only son of promise, Isaac. This would not have made him happy.
- Joseph (Genesis 37:23-36). Although it was part of God’s providence, Joseph being sold into slavery would have been a very unhappy time in his life.
- Moses (Exodus 3:1-4:17). God chose Moses to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt — a noble assignment. However, it would be a difficult and unhappy duty.
- Job (Job 2:4-6). God allowed Satan to test Job by taking away all that he had which caused great suffering and anguish.
- Jonah (Jonah 1:2-3; 4:1). Jonah was told to go to his mortal enemy, Nineveh, and preach repentance. Their salvation was certainly not joyful to them.
- Eunuch (Acts 8:39). This man went away from his encounter with Philip rejoicing because he had put on Christ in baptism — the greatest of all blessings.
God never changes. Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (cp. Malachi 3:6). If God acted this way so many years ago, He still acts this way today. God does not primarily want you to be happy; He wants you to be obedient (Hebrews 5:8-9). Obey the gospel and you will find an amazing joy — joy that can make life brighter and burdens lighter.