God is a rewarder. For example, God asks us to be generous. Turns out, people obedient to God’s command to be generous are happier. In fact, those who describe themselves as very generous are nearly five times as likely to describe themselves as extremely happy. And, this is not merely a subjective evaluation of generosity. If we look at actual giving percentages, the same trend holds true.

What about sexual purity? A lot of people think God is a cosmic kill-joy when it comes to sex. I have a feeling that a lot of people hesitate to come to God because they don’t want to be obedient to His plan for sexual purity. Turns out, people who follow God’s plan are happier. The sexually pure are four times more likely to be extremely happy.

Let’s look at service. We know God has asked us to serve. Pastors regularly ask their people to serve. People tend to resist. The Bible says about Jesus that He came “not to be served but to serve.” If we are going to be like Jesus, we must be obedient to the command to serve. Many don’t like the idea of serving. They would rather be served. They would rather relax. They would rather be entertained. We have the mistaken notion that serving will make us less happy, not more.

But, the research does not support this. The research clearly indicates that people who serve are happier—much happier. Here was the statement: “I regularly serve God in a way God has gifted me to serve.” Thirty percent of those who strongly agreed with that statement were extremely happy—three times the number compared to those who merely agreed with the statement. For those who disagreed—those who said they don’t regularly serve God in the way God has gifted them—I could not find any that were extremely happy. No not one, no not one.

Josh Hunt. Obedience.

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