Am I Supposed to Be Happy?

Have you ever had one of those awkward moments when you laughed out loud during a serious time? A horribly cursed part of my personality is that I sometimes smile during moments of turmoil or trouble, and it feels like I cannot help it. Have you ever “felt happy” at a time when it simply did not feel appropriate?As Christians, we feel this wretched awkwardness often as we examine the world in which we live. There are more than 7.5 billion people on earth, and this means there are at least that many problems, burdens, and heartaches accompanying our lives. So, it is a legitimate question to ask: “Am I supposed to be happy even in the midst of a sin-filled world?”

Of course, sinfulness should break our hearts. We should look around and feel deep pain in the fact that God’s world is not as He created it to be. Does this mean our lives should be overwhelmingly sober and without happiness?

The answer to this question is emphatically, “No!” God designed us to have happiness and satisfaction. It is why He created us. We are made to be joy-filled creatures that reflect His glory by finding happiness and satisfaction in Him. There is no problem with being happy as a Christian in this world. There is a problem when we try to look for this happiness in places God never intended us to find it.

Psalm 128:1-2 – Blessed is everyone that feareth the Lord; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.

The word “blessed” in verse one is the same root word as “happy” in verse two. It could read, “Happy is everyone that fears the Lord.” As much as this may sound like some cruel paradox, it is a truth of God that He has given us in His Word. The fear of the Lord brings happiness. Believers that fear their God must know Him. If children of God know their Father well enough to feel reverence and awe toward Him, they will find themselves blessed, satisfied, and happy.

“There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing but only by God the Creator made known through Jesus Christ.” – Blaise Pascal

 God created each of use to be completely satisfied in Him. In essence, He has created us to be unshakably happy. This does not mean that every second of our days should be jokingly gleeful, but it does mean that Christians have a deep sense of joy that is not limited to surface-level circumstances of life. God intends to pour happiness on us, but only if we recognize He alone can do it. We are not created to be satisfied by lesser things.

The Christian’s happiness is so different than the happiness of those without Christ. Think about some of these promises…

Happiness is living in His strength, not our own.

Psalm 84:5 – Blessed (Hebrew: esher – happiness, blessedness) is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them.

Happiness is finding delight in the Lord.

Psalm 37:3-4 Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Happiness is given by God when we submit and obey.

Proverbs 29:18 Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

Happiness is standing guiltless before the Lord.

Psalm 32:1-2  Blessed (happy) is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed (happy) is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.

Happiness is having faith in a God who always keeps His promises.

Luke 1:45 And blessed (Greek: Makarios – happy, blessed) is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.

Happiness is not found in our world but in our God.

Luke 6:21 Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.
Psalm 144:15 Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD.

Being a Christian does not guarantee twenty-four hours of giddiness each day; however, being a Christian does guarantee an eternal satisfaction, delight, and happiness that only comes from God. “The pursuit of happiness” that America’s founders referred to is something that every person craves. The problem is when we pursue that happiness in created things. Our happiness comes from one who was never created, and it is in Him that we are to delight.

Our pleasures are the “whistle-blowers” of our hearts. Where do you find your happiness? You find pleasure in what you treasure (Matthew 6:31). Worldly happiness is a mist that disappears in the sun. Godly happiness lasts forever.


Consider these C.S. Lewis quotes about happiness:

Don’t let your happiness depend on something you may lose. 1

There is a kind of happiness and wonder that makes you serious. It is too good to waste on jokes. 2

It is a Christian duty, as you know, for everyone to be as happy as he can. 3

God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing. 4
1 – C. S. Lewis (1971). The Four Loves
2- C.S. Lewis (2003) A Mind Awake: An Anthology of C. S. Lewis
3 – C.S. Lewis (1987). A Severe Mercy
4- C.S. Lewis (1960). Mere Christianity