Are Holiness and Happiness Compatible?

Paul Hostetter

READ : Psalm 96:1-13

The British often use the word grim to describe unpleasant circumstances. Most people if asked would say that holiness is a grim subject. It certainly does not seem enticing and inspiring. In fact, we are reluctant to discuss holiness because it seems so joyless and grim!

But look at the words of this Hebrew song, which trumpets the “splendor of God’s holiness.”

Get out the message-Yahweh rules!
He put the world on a firm foundation;
He treats everyone fair and square.
Let’s hear it from Sky, with Earth joining in,
And a huge round of applause from Sea.
Let Wilderness turn cartwheels, animals, come dance,
Put every tree of the forest in the choir –
An extravaganza before Yahweh as he comes,
As he comes to set everything right on earth,
Set everything right, treat everyone fair.
– Psalm 96:11-13 from The Message translation

Our generation is noted for shallow religion, irreverent speech, vulgar humor, gross entertainment and little enthusiasm for holiness. Isn’t holiness better?


Lord, you are the source of happy holiness. Shield me from the false notions of our troubled age. Amen.