Friday, October 1, 2010

I Just Want to be Happy!

What Does
 The Bible Say?  

"What Does the Bible Say..." is a topical Bible resource. The answers given are by no means exhaustive.  The design is to direct you to the passages in the Bible that deal with the topics you're interested in or have questions. 

If you have questions or simply wonder what the bible says about various or specific topics, simply email me at I address and answer these questions each Friday. 

What does the Bible say about 
how to have a happy life?

When many people are asked what they want most in life, their response is usually, "I just want to be happy." Usually what they really mean is that they want all of the experiences in their life to be positive and pleasant. We typically want to have our lives free of negative and painful experiences. 

Clearly, the Bible deals a lot with the subject of happiness, and many sections of Scripture speak of joy, rejoicing, blessedness, and etc. Needless to say, God has a plan for happiness and most unhappiness comes from violation of the plan. The plan that God has put forth for each of us in this life is that we are to find our joy and/or happiness not in circumstances but in Him. 

Unfortunately, we will face moments of bitterness, pain, suffering, heart-ache, and misery in this life time. The good news is that God has promised us joy, even joy which is inexpressible in the midst of these unpleasant periods in our life. Disappointment and unhappiness comes from three major sources:

Non biblical expectations

When we place expectations of happiness or satisfaction  in temporal things like family, friends, career, possessions, attainments, and etc. we will be disappointed. At times most if not all of these "things" will let us down. More importantly all of these things have a built in design flaw. They were not programmed to supply and maintain the joy that God has promised us.

Misplaced treasure depository

Sadly, many people today place their hope, dreams, expectations, desires, and yearnings in various depositories hoping that their "deposit" will yield happiness. Our greatest treasure is God Himself. When we come to the point where we determine that God is our greatest treasure we will deposit all of our expectations and desires in Him. He will never disappoint nor will He ever loose our deposit. Even in the most excruciating moments of misery or pain our grief will be tempered by the joy provided by God to His children through the Lord Jesus Christ.

Sinful violation of God's plan

The major cause of unhappiness is the violation of Biblical principles.When we fail to abide by God's plan for our lives unhappiness is inevitable. When we determine to live our lives according to our own plan we will violate biblical principles and commands. When we do so the result is sin. Sin will always produce shame, unhappiness, and eventually death. Even though the bible speaks of "..the pleasures of sin for a season..." sin left unchecked and unconfessed will result in unhappiness.

So, how do we look to the Scriptures to find what the bible says about how to have a happy life?

Please read Rom.12:9-21; Eph. 4:30-5:20 and Psalm 1:1-6.

 There are hundreds of other good texts but these will suffice.  Read them carefully, prayerfully, and repeatedly.

 From these Scriptures you will have a good start in understanding how we are to live in order to experience the joy that far surpasses any temporal happiness derived from momentarily favorable circumstances.

[P.S. Don't forget to read James chapter one today and check in tomorrow to leave comments, ask questions, and read the chapter review]


welcome to my world of poetry said...

Happiness is truly a wonderful emotion, I have had my share of the opposite but nothing can compare to that inner oeace feeling.

Thanks for the visit and comment.
That was written 5 yrs ago when things were not quite right but all is well.



I have experienced disappointment and unhappiness from all of the three major sources you listed.

1. Non biblical expectations:

I have been let down by family, friends, career and especially possessions more time than I care to remember. But I have also let down family members and friends. I have learned the hard way that we all have feet of clay.

2. Misplaced treasure depository:

I lost a considerable amount of money in the stock market a few years before I retired. It was not easy to deal with.

3. Sinful violation of God's plan:

I won't share any specifics on this one. I'll just say I've been there and done that and it ain't no fun!!

Have a great weekend


LibbyLibbyLibbyLibbyLibby said...

There is a book called "Jesus, Man of Joy".... really good book on having joy, being anointed with joy etc... Jesus Himself was anointed with the oil of joy..gladness.
Good post, good words!

Persis said...

Great post. I have experienced disappointment from each of your 3 points. But it makes a huge difference when we begin to treasure Christ above earthly happiness, which is only by His grace. There is a joy that can't be explained because it doesn't come from our circumstances; it comes from Him.

Arlee Bird said...

So often we want to blame others for our lack of happiness. No one is responsible for finding the state of true happiness except for us. We can look at those who have everything we associate with happiness and even they don't have true lasting happiness unless that happiness comes from God.
Good reminder for us, Gregg.

Tossing It Out

ali said...

Gregg ~ I used to write a few articles every week on finding happiness. The exercise was perfect for my writing but especially for my soul. God truly does want us to be happy, and not just in spite of the pain and sorrow of life but because of it.

Thank you for this tremendous sermon ~ I needed the reminder today.

Kansas Bob said...

Once heard that happiness is dependent on happenings. I think that is fairly accurate. Happiness seems like an external phenomena while joy is a internal one. Not that I don't want to be happy. :)