Happiness is an emotion based on circumstances. If things are going well, then we are happy, but if some trial comes up we become unhappy. You see God did not promise that everything would be hunky-dory once we became a Christian. We still will have trials in our lives. There will still be illnesses, job loss, accidents, death, disappointment, relationship issues and more. So, as Christians we cannot expect to be happy all the time. Just as non-believers life throws us curves.
I’ve been a Christian for about 37 years. Have I been happy all that time? No! I’ve had my ups and downs like everyone else. We are all human and live in this cursed world. Sin is all around us and it effects each of us.
What makes a person happy? I believe it is different for each of us. What makes me happy might not make you happy. One thing that makes me happy is fishing. I just love to sit on the dock, or out in a boat, and wait for that big one to strike my bait. What anticipation and what happiness when it happens and I actually land it. There are many other things that make me happy. Some as simple as a smile on a child’s face. Or, when the birds are at my feeder. To hear the bird songs in the spring time puts a smile on my face, and, oh yes, to listen to the peepers. I know that spring is near, and that makes me happy!
I remember before I was a Christian my happiness came from going out and partying, or getting a raise at work, or being able to purchase a new car. Things like that made me happy for a time. But, it would wear off and I’d be on the search for another thing to make me happy.
When a person says they are a Christian and they are unhappy I wonder what it is that they are searching for. Maybe they expect more than God has promised. He has told us that in this world we will have tribulation.
(John 16:33 YLT) these things I have spoken to you, that in me ye may have peace, in the world ye shall have tribulation, but take courage–I have overcome the world.’
What can make a person unhappy? There are all kinds of things here are a few:
Yes, I said church! I remember going to church and every time coming away with a feeling of disappointment and unhappiness over the time I spent there. If our church is not giving out the Word of God in a sytematic way, then we are deprived of the food we need to feed our soul. We need feeding and we crave it as Christians. Also, we crave fellowship and friendship with other like-minded individuals. My church wasn’t feeding us the food we needed. We had tons of music and a very short canned sermon sprinkled with more stories and jokes than Bible. I would go home and feel empty. I had to get out of that modern church and find a good Bible teaching church. I did that and it was like the difference between night and day.
- YOUR MARRIAGE
You may be in a marriage that isn’t going so well. You may be a Christian, but your spouse isn’t. That can make for all kinds of unhappy times. In that case you are not equally yoked and think from two different views. This causes many conflicts. I didn’t have that problem, but I do know people who do. One of my friends had that problem. They had conflicts about going to church. Many times the unbelieving husband would not go. It made it hard as the wife wanted her children in Sunday school and she wanted to worship the Lord at church. Another problem they had was over giving money to the church. They had many arguments over this. God tells us to do that but the husband would not hear of it.
(2 Corinthians 6:14 ASV) Be not unequally yoked with unbelievers: for what fellowship have righteousness and iniquity? or what communion hath light with darkness?
- NOT MARRIED BUT LIVING TOGETHER
I also know of people who are not married but are living together. They can’t find true happiness because they are living in sin. God instituted marriage between a man and a woman and that is the only one he will bless. If a couple are just living together and are not married they can expect God to disclipine them.
(1 Corinthians 7:2 KJV) Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.
(Matthew 5:27 ASV) Ye have heard that it was said, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
- UNFORGIVENESS/ VICTIM OF ABUSE
Maybe you are a Christian, but have unforgiveness in your heart. If so, you really need to study what the Bible says about forgiveness and apply it to your life. It will make a world of difference. Unforgiveness holds us hostage. It actually hurts us much more than the other person. As Christians we must forgive as God has forgiven us.
Mark 11:25-26 KJV And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. (26) But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
There were people in my life that I had to forgive once I became a Christian and realized this. Sometimes the person we need to forgive has already passed away. When that happens we can pray to the Lord and tell Him the whole thing. We can pour our heart out to Him and He will listen. Then we can tell the Lord that we forgive that person for what they did to us. It is a very freeing thing to do.
I know people who hold grudges. That is sure to bring them unhappiness. They are always bringing up past hurts and rehearsing them again and again. When they do that it is like reliving the past. They must forgive even if it is for their own peace of mind. We can forgive others and let the Lord take care of the rest.
Romans 12:19 KJV Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
Do you see yourself as a victim? Has life been hard and you’ve been abused in the past in some way? If so, again you need to study about forgiveness. You will have to learn to put the past behind you.
Philippians 3:13-14 ASV (13) Brethren, I count not myself yet to have laid hold: but one thing I do, forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before, (14) I press on toward the goal unto the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
I believe that selfishness is the number one cause of martial and relationship problems today.Is there selfishness in your life? We can become very unhappy when we don’t get our own way. What does the Bible say about this? We are to think of others as more important than ourselves.
Philippians 2:3 KJV Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
One time shortly after I was saved I could not understand why people behaved the way they did. I prayed and asked God why and it was as though He placed this one word in my mind: SELFISH.
As time went on and I put this word to the test I found it to be true. People are selfish, and that is the root of many, if not most problems.
Matthew 16:24 ASV Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
- MATERIAL POSSESSIONS
What about possessions? Do you think that having just one more thing will make you happy? Do you have to have the latest fashion, electronics, furnishings? Do you think a new car, or home would make you happy? If you won the lottery would that make you happy? What thing that you don’t have now, if you could get it, would make you happy?
Matthew 6:19-21 ASV Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break through and steal: (20) but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth consume, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: (21) for where thy treasure is, there will thy heart be also.
Today I’m content most of the time. I don’t need a lot when I realize how much God has given me.
He has adopted me into His family, given me a citizenship in Heaven, made me a saint, and has for me an inheritance that far outweighs anything here in this life. Oh, I have so much to look forward to and that brings me great joy!
- DISAPPOINTMENT WITH GOD
Perhaps you feel disappointed with God. When you became a Christian you might have had the idea that everything would be great from there on out. That view is sometimes given to a new convert, but it is not the truth. God tells us that we will have troubles in this world.
Sometimes people don’t realize that God is sovereign. This is very important! He is sovereign over everything that happens to us. Nothing can happen without his permission. He is totally in control. Just knowing that takes the pressure off us. We can rest in the knowledge that He loves us and wants the very best for us.
Romans 8:28 ASV And we know that to them that love God all things work together for good, even to them that are called according to his purpose.
The Bible also teaches us to be content in whatever state we are in. Paul is a wonderful example of that. He went through all kinds of trial and tribulations.
Philippians 4:11 ASV Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therein to be content.
Also, a fruit of the Spirit is joy. For a Christian even when times are very hard we can still have the joy that God has given us inside. This is a gift from God, and it helps us through tough times.
Maybe I’ve touched on why you are an unhappy Christian, and maybe not. Write into the comments section and share what makes you unhappy and we can search the scriptures to find the answer for you. I would love to hear from you. You can also email me privately if you wish.