I don’t know where he got it, but my 3 year old son sometimes approaches me out of the blue and asks me, “Daddy, are you happy or sad?” I must have asked him that sometime in the past, and now (since he’s 3 years old), he’s added it to his arsenal of phrases that he likes to repeat from time to time. I wonder if he’s genuinely trying to determine if I’m happy or sad at that particular moment, or if he’s just talking through one of his many scripts. What prompted that question at that particular time? Did I do something that made him think I was sad?
I’ve talked with people who have had the opinion that God is generally sad or even mad. They think that He observes the mess that we’ve made of His creation with a heavy heart, and has grown frustrated with us to the point that He takes a kind of pleasure in executing His wrath toward sin. And while there is a bit of truth in this idea that God isn’t pleased with sin, and that He ought to receive praise even in His act of judgment (for it shows that He is a God of holiness, justice, and power), the Bible plainly states that God is happy. One of the most clear verses is 1 Timothy 1:11, which refers to God as “the blessed God.” A simple definition of “blessed” is “happy.”
Another verse worth mentioning is Matthew 25:23. God will say to those who trust Christ, “enter into the joy of your master.” God has a joy about Him that we will one day get the privilege of experiencing as well. We can get a taste of it today, but will realize the fullness of it when we shed these mortal bodies. Who would want to go spend eternity with a God who is sad or mad? Could such a place really be called “heaven”?
God is unchanging. If God will be full of joy in the future in Himself and because of what Christ did on the cross for the redemption of many souls, then God is full of joy today for the same reasons. We serve a happy God.