Do You Need a Little Happy?

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Wowza! I’ve heard a lot of heavy stories recently: friends with family members dying, scary health diagnoses, and broken relationships. We all need a little happy, don’t we? 

God doesn’t promise that our lives will be free from sorrow. In fact, quite the opposite, Jesus told us that in this world we will have sorrow (John 16:33). Yet, Jesus reassures us that He has overcome the world. 

When I was growing up, I felt confused between the concepts of joy and happiness. Sure, they’re different, but just because Jesus wants us to have joy (John 15:11), doesn’t mean He doesn’t want us to be happy. However, it does raise some questions. For example, if we’re grieving, can we have moments of happiness and be authentic? Should we go after happy or only after joy? 

In the midst of life’s challenging circumstances, I believe we can find not only joy, but a bit of happy as well. Often the Bible refers to gladness. In fact, Jesus said, “Rejoice and be glad” (Matthew 5:12). We can find moments of sheer happiness even in the midst of trials. We see this in the Psalms. 

In Psalm 9, David gives us three choices to help us go after happy, even when we are under pressure and facing trials. In Psalm 9:1-2, he writes, “I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.” Tucked within these verses are some profound choices.

Choice #1 – I will give thanks. Those who are filled with gratitude are happier than those who aren’t. Learning to practice gratitude lifts your spirits and helps you feel moments of happy even in sorrow. Tucked in the napkin holder of our dinner table is a journal where Steve and I record what we are grateful for each evening. By making gratitude a regular practice, we experience far more happiness in our everyday life. That doesn’t mean we don’t have sorrows and we don’t authentically grieve those sorrows, but it does mean that tucked within moments of grieving are moments of happiness.

Choice #2 – I will tell of all Your wonderful deeds. Ah, there is great gladness in speaking of all the great things God has done. Even if those things are in the past. When we remember what He’s done in the past, we can trust Him with the future. Talking out loud about all the great things God has done brings joy and gladness to our hearts and the hearts of others. Recently, I was chatting with a friend and each of us were remembering the miracles God has worked in the past few years. At the end of that conversation, I felt not only joy -but also happiness- because God is good and faithful.

Choice # 3 – I will sing. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, singing has great benefits for our emotional health. Even if you can’t carry a tune, singing releases endorphins and raises your levels of happiness. And besides, God hears in perfect pitch, so go ahead and start busting out some tunes, especially songs to praise Jesus. As you sing and praise Him, the Holy Spirit is going to lift your spirits and bring you happiness. 

Friend, in this life you will have sorrow. But because Jesus has overcome, we can have both joy and happiness. We might not feel happy all the time- that would be inauthentic – but even in the midst of life’s sorrows, we can feel moments of happy knowing that God is on our side and He has won the victory!

Many of you are pre-ordering Tethered Trust! If you haven’t ordered yours be sure to order a copy and hey, why not get a copy for a friend, so you can do the study together? 

This week on The Connected Mom Podcast you are in for a treat! My guest is Helen Smallbone – the Mama to Rebecca St. James and the guys from King and Country, Joel and Luke.  The new movie Unsung Hero releases April 26. Get your tickets now but also tune into The Connected Mom this week to get to hear Helen up close and personal as she reflects on all that God has done in her journey of motherhood. 

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