What does the Bible say about increasing your happiness? While God’s primary objective is not to make humans happy, the Bible is clear that God himself is an everlasting well of happiness that brings the human heart more joy than anything else ever could.
So in this article I will share 4 ways to increase you happiness in the Lord according to the Bible.
Let the Hope of Worldly Happiness Die and Accept that God Is the Only Perfect Source of Joy
The first step to increase you happiness is to accept what the Bible and real life experience teaches us: that God alone is what our hearts truly need most of all.
When you cling to the lie that there is a source of happiness somewhere out in the world, you will spend your whole life looking for it. But as you search, you will remain unhappy and you will be wasting your time. No source of happiness outside of God actually exists. We have to fully accept that the world is not able to fill us in the ways that we really desire.
In Psalm 16:2 it states, “I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.’” I love this verse because it teaches us that we must first make “the Lord” “my Lord.” In other words, God is God but if you do not personally submit to him you will not have the relationship with him that you need. He is the source of all good, but if you do not submit to him personally you will not experience the good he has to give. As the Psalmist said, “apart from [the Lord] I have no good thing.”
Psalm 4:7-8 also says, “You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound. In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”
No earthly blessing can bring the happiness that God can bring.
Use the Gifts God Has Given You More
The second way you can increase your joy in the Lord is by using the gifts God has given you in a greater capacity. There are countless ways to love and serve other people. There are times in life where we need to meet the need regardless of our personal giftedness or abilities.
But a joyful life cannot be sustained by running around just meeting the needs no matter how gifted we are in those areas. God has made each of us differently and he has given each of us different talents and gifts. Throughout the Bible Christians are told to actually use their gifts in service rather than just serving aimlessly no matter what talents you have.
For example in 1 Timothy 4:14 Paul told Timothy, “Do not neglect your gift . . . .” In 1 Peter 4:10 it states, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
If you do not use your gift, you will lack the happiness God desires to give you through your use of that gift, for as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:16, “Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” Paul’s gifting was preaching, and he knew if he did not use his gift he would be miserable. So you can increase your happiness by finding opportunities to use your gifts more.
Find the Right Biblical Balance Between Acceptance and Change
One really important topic that Christians often become imbalanced in is “acceptance and change.” When we error too far on the acceptance side, we can become inactive in correcting issues that God wants us to work on changing. But if we become too imbalanced on the change side, we can begin to lose focus of the biblical truth that this world is truly broken and our only hope is in Christ alone. In Philippians 4:12-16 Paul shows us an example of a healthy balance:
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need.”
Notice that Paul has learned that true happiness cannot be found in food, shelter, or material possessions. Only through Christ can we live with joy. But he is also grateful for the material gifts and support that the Philippians have given him.
Likewise, to increase our happiness on earth, we need to walk with Christ so we can endure those things with him that are not going to change while also being grateful for when God does bring the earthly blessings.
Give More Than You Take
Lastly, no teaching on what the Bible says about happiness could be complete without mentioning the importance of serving and giving to others. The fastest way to rob your own joy is by becoming self-centered. When we put ourselves first we will never be happy.
As Jesus is quoted as saying in Acts 20:35, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Even when we actually have to suffer and do hard things, Jesus taught us in Mark 10:29-31 that we always get far more than we can ever give God. Jesus said:
Truly I tell you, no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
According to the Bible, if you really want to increase your happiness, you must also increase your service to God and people.