We long for happiness.
Sometimes we wish that God would make us happy, and think to ourselves, that the absolute very best way He could show us that He loves us is by making us happy.
Obviously, happiness is a good thing since in heaven, we will be happy forever, but God loves us too much to simply give us happiness. He shows us an even better kindness by making us holy. As Jonathan Edwards once said, “Sanctification is as great, yea, a greater favor done to the creature, than glorification: the creature is more honored by being made like unto God in holiness, than in happiness; the image and likeness of God upon the creature exalts it and honors it more, than the fruition of him.”
We can’t really even begin to grasp how beautiful and good and awesome God is. He is so far above us as His creatures.Imagine looking like Him, in terms of His character, being like Him. To have God make us into His image through the life-transforming work of the Holy Spirit is a privilege almost beyond belief.
Quoting Jonathan Edwards once again, because I just can’t say it better, “The man that is sanctified and made holy, has more excellency than all the wicked men in the world, and is more honorable, and will be honored more, than all the rich and powerful men upon earth, put together, that are destitute of holiness. And why? Because those that are holy are made like unto God, have the image of that God before whom all the kings of the earth are as nothing.”
What makes God so beautiful? So magnificent? His holiness. This is “the excellency of his excellencies, the beauty of his beauties, the perfection of his infinite perfections, and the glory of his attributes. What an honor, then, must it be to a creature who is infinitely below God, and less than he, to be beautified and adorned with this beauty, with that beauty which is the highest beauty of God himself, even holiness.”