Pleasure and Happiness in Reference to God

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Puritan Board Junior
I assume most of you would agree with me that we can and should make a distinction between pleasure and happiness. The way I personally see each of them is the following.

Pleasure is temporal in that it flows from temporal things and is received by our temporal five senses: sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste. Pleasure is imperfect in that it does not satisfy our souls/hearts -- it cannot make one happy.

Happiness is the state in which our souls/hearts are satisfied (not necessarily fully satisfied). Pleasure, which by [my] definition is temporal and imperfect, cannot possibly bring about happiness (i.e., satisfy our souls/hearts). Happiness flows from God's infinite glory and is received by our infinite souls/hearts. Only the infinite can fill the infinite. We comprehend God's glory by faith, and thus our happiness is dependent on faith. And since faith is mutable, so happiness also becomes mutable. Is happiness permanent? Well, if faith is permanent (and it certainly is), then, by necessary consequence, happiness must also be permanent. Can we be perfectly happy as partially sanctified children of God? No. Our souls/hearts can only be filled by God's glory to the degree we have faith in His glory, and for perfect faith we need to be fully sanctified (i.e., glorified).

Now, I've talked about pleasure and happiness in reference to human beings, but my concern in this thread is how we should think of pleasure and happiness in reference to God.

Since God is not both temporal and infinite like we are, I tend to interpret "pleasure," whenever the term is used in reference to God in the Scriptures, to mean that which satisfies His soul/heart. And what else can it be but the same thing that satisfies our souls/hearts, namely, His own glory? And since God has a perfect sense of His own glory, He must be perfectly happy.

In spite of the fact that God is perfectly happy without His creation, He has given some people the privilege of being vessels through which He is "pleased," that is, His soul/heart is fully satisfied. A holy God cannot be partially pleased, He is either totally pleased or totally dissapointed in us. How, then, can we please God? Through faith in Christ (Heb. 11:6). Through faith both our works and persons are accepted in Christ as perfect and holy. Through our faith Christ reflects God's own glory back to Himself and thereby He is perfectly pleased and happy in us.

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, feel free to critique my thoughts.


Puritan Board Graduate
I would just say that revelation is analogical in nature, so those sort of human concepts when God picks them up are not meant to express exactly the same thing as they express when we use them. We cannot reason about how God is in himself, or his nature. We have only his revelation to make as much sense of as we can but nothing beyond that. There will be mystery there that we cannot penetrate. I always remember that when ever I try to understand God.
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