We don’t tend to link holiness with happiness.
We link holiness with austerity, seriousness and avoiding pleasure. When many think of holiness, they think of medieval monks, prudish Puritans (though I’ve read that many weren’t) formality, frowning faces, stiff, starched white collars.
But God is holy, and he is the happiest being in the universe. Robert Murray M’Cheyne had a good grasp of the happiness of holiness:
“To gain entire likeness to Christ, I ought to get a high esteem of the happiness of it. I am persuaded that God’s happiness is inseparably linked in with his holiness. Holiness and happiness are like light and heat. God never tasted one of the pleasures of sin.
Christ has a body such as I have, yet he never tasted one of the pleasures of sin. The redeemed, through all eternity, will never taste one of the pleasures of sin; yet their happiness is complete. . . Every sin is something away from my greatest enjoyment. . . .
The devil strives night and day to make me forget this or disbelieve it. He says, Why should you not enjoy this pleasure as much as Solomon or David? You may go to heaven also. I am persuaded this is a lie – that my true happiness is to go and sin no more.”
Satan’s greatest lie is that holiness is boring, like black and white TV shows from the 50′s, but sin is 3-d full color high octane joy. Though sin has pleasure for a season, it can’t produce any lasting or deep joy. The Bible says, “In your presence is fullness of joy.” God’s presence is pure holiness. And that’s where the fullness of joy is.
We need to remember this when we’re tempted to give in to the momentary pleasures of sin. We need to say to ourselves, If I do this I’m robbing myself of joy and pleasure in Christ. Holiness is my happiness.