6 Secrets to Finding Happiness with God: Understanding Happiness in the Bible

Does finding happiness matter to you? Most people answer “yes!”, because happiness and contentment are fulfilling and life-giving.

Finding happiness is a good pursuit, but sometimes the pursuit of happiness takes center stage and matters too much.

Learning about happiness in the Bible and finding happiness with God changes your perspective on what ‘being happy’ looks like.

How to be Happy with God

Wanting to be happy is important to most people and learning how to be happy with God is the key.

I wrestled with the pursuit of happiness for years.

Wearing hand-me-downs was part of the program when I grew up.

As I got older, I thought buying new clothes was the solution to finding happiness.

For a while, happiness was characterized by having certain things, doing certain things, and being like certain people. Because I thought everyone was happy except me.

Once I earned money, I remember the giddy feeling from buying a new dress or pair of blue jeans; I was happy—for 5 minutes. (ok, I still get happy with a new outfit, especially if it’s a good bargain!)

But after buying something, discontentment slowly (or not so slowly) creeps in and you have to find a new way to feel happy.

Making purchases to feel happy helped me realize, that ‘things’ are not the secret to finding happiness.

Some of the happiest people I know are not surrounded by the best ‘things’.

The same pattern develops with success and accomplishments; after the initial rush of acknowledgment and validation, happiness and peace do not tag along and stay a while.

Happiness is fleeting, passes quickly and is hard to grasp like floating bubbles.

Finding happiness seems elusive with defeat, frustration, and sadness swirling around.

Lifting the fog from happiness killers– grief, hurt, discouragement, fear, and disappointment –seems impossible.

We all experience sadness; it is a condition of being human. But can we find happiness? Is finding happiness with God possible?

Finding happiness with God is the secret that opens our spirit to deep joy and contentment.

The Bible says the joy of the Lord is our strength.

If joy is how you find strength, it seems worth the time to learn about and embrace happiness to walk boldly in your identity in Christ and draw others to Him.

 “It is a time to celebrate with a hearty meal and to send presents to those in need, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. You must not be dejected and sad!”

Nehemiah 8:10 TLB

Finding happiness in God is rooted in hope and knowing that all things will work together for good, eventually. Your present sadness is temporary when you are a child of God.

Although no one can be happy all of the time, even Jesus was sad, we can tip the scales away from being defined by sadness to a person known as happy and joyful.

girl with balloons

Happiness in the Bible

Understanding happiness in the Bible leads to clarity on true happiness and joy.

Differences in joy and happiness are sometimes small and other times huge.

There are varying opinions and debates on the benefits of joy and happiness. But we do know that joy and happiness are both strong emotions that are pleasant. And as a follower of Christ, it is better to exude happiness and joy versus the alternative.

Because our mission is to lead others toward a transformed life with Christ it would be hard to do if we are perpetually sad and grumpy.

Finding happiness and joy is part of a victorious life in Christ.

“Your old sin-loving nature was buried with him by baptism when he died; and when God the Father, with glorious power, brought him back to life again, you were given his wonderful new life to enjoy.”

Romans 6:4 TLB

You may say joy is better than happiness which it probably is.

You may say happiness is overrated which it is not.

You may also say we shouldn’t strive to be happy which is probably true.

Joy and happiness are both emotions where a person has feelings of contentment or satisfaction. But both these feelings may differ from each other based on the reasons causing the feeling and the nature of the feeling. J.D. Salinger, the author of Catcher in the Rye, once wrote, “The fact is always obvious much too late, but the most singular difference between happiness and joy is that happiness is a solid and joy a liquid.”

Wherever you land on the joy vs happiness debate, one thing for sure is happiness in the Bible is different from happiness in the world.

Investing time studying the Bible and in prayer helps us grow closer to God, and become less selfish and more grateful.

Intimacy with Christ quenches our soul so that happiness and joy erupt and then pour out to others. Finding happiness in Christ is not fleeting or elusive it is the secret to an altogether better life!

“Joy seems to me a step beyond happiness—happiness is a sort of atmosphere you can live in sometimes when you’re lucky. Joy is a light that fills you with hope and faith and love.”

Adela Rogers St. Johns, Some Are Born Great

“Attempting to make a clear and hard distinction between happiness and joy is a bit pointless. Joyful people express happiness. True and lasting joy, or happiness or blessedness, results from our relationship with God through Jesus Christ.”


Does Spirituality Make You Happy?

Does spirituality make you happy? Yes, if your spirit is connected to Jesus.

Spending time in the presence of your savior will dramatically change your life, make you happy, and lead to deep abiding contentment.

A relationship with Christ is the key to finding happiness, not the activities surrounding your faith. Religion does not flood you with happiness at least not sustainable happiness.

Following rules and doing certain things are not the passageway to finding happiness.

Happiness is found when you walk out your faith because of a deep love for Jesus.

Obedience and service overflow from a content, happy heart; they are expressions of a burning desire to please God because you are grateful for His love and acceptance.


flower-finding happiness with God

Bible Verses About Happiness

#1 Finding happiness is possible when you trust God

 “He who deals wisely and heeds [God’s] word and counsel shall find good, and whoever leans on, trusts in, and is confident in the Lord—happy, blessed, and fortunate is he.”

Proverbs 16:20 AMP

#2 Finding happiness is possible when your identity and purpose are found in Christ

Happy are the people whose God is the Lord!”

Psalm 144:15 GNT

#3 Finding happiness is possible when you grow spiritually

 “I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature.”

John 15:11 MSG

#4 Finding happiness is possible when you love and respect God

“Reverence for God gives life, happiness, and protection from harm.”

Proverbs 19:23 TLB

#5 Finding happiness is possible when you worship and praise God

“Give me happiness, O Lord, for I worship only you.”

Psalm 86:4 MSG

#6 Finding happiness is possible when you follow God’s instructions

“Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found.”

Psalm 119:5 NLT

#7 Finding happiness is possible when you know you are forgiven by Jesus and walk in the newness of life

Happy are those whose sins are forgiven, whose wrongs are pardoned. Happy is the one whom the Lord does not accuse of doing wrong and who is free from all deceit.”

Psalm 32:1-2 GNT

lady happy-finding happiness with God

6 Secrets to Finding Happiness with God

God is powerful and loves you so much that there are many ways to find happiness with God.

Here are six secrets for finding happiness with God.

  1. Know and embrace your identity in Christ. When you surrender, are transformed, and renewed by the saving grace of Christ, you pivot to a less selfish focus. Seeing the value of others instead of focusing on yourself brings happiness.
  2. Understand who you are. What gifts do you have? What purpose has God called you to? What is your love language? What is your personality type? Insecurities are dismantled as you grow closer to God, seek healing when necessary, and step into your purpose. When you are confident, secure, and understand yourself it is easier to find happiness and share it with others.
  3. Live for today and let go of the past. This means working on perpetual forgiveness and releasing regret, bitterness, and pride. This is not easy but one of the biggest secrets to finding happiness. It involves a deep change from within.
  4. Be intentional in choosing relationships. The people you spend most of your time with have the greatest influence on your character and finding happiness. Spend quality time with God, your spouse, children, and friends. Encourage those around you openly. Invest quality resources in those people you have carefully chosen to walk beside you. Resist gossip, complaining, or judging and focus on personal and relational growth.
  5. Overcome Fear. Fear is one of the big distractions from finding happiness. You can become consumed with big fears or a network of small fears that zap your focus, strength, and happiness. Overcoming fear with faith is a big step to finding happiness with God and walking in freedom.
  6. Have a spirit of gratitude and serve others. People who are grateful and encouraging are inspiring, contagious, and happier.

 “If you are happy, your face shows it. If you are sad, your spirit feels defeated.”

Proverbs 15:13 ERV

I hope this article has helped you understand that finding happiness with God is possible.

If you are struggling with grief or sadness, I pray our healer Jesus, the God of peace and comfort surrounds you and leads you to happiness and deep peace.


Mary Rooney Armand

Mary is the creator and writer for the faith-based blog ButterflyLiving.org. Her writing is featured on multiple websites and she is the author of the book, “Identity, Understanding, and Accepting Who I am in Christ”  and Life Changing Stories, a devotional collection, available on Amazon.

Mary Rooney Armand

Mary Rooney Armand is an Author, Speaker, and Creator of the faith-based blog ButterflyLiving.org. She helps others grow in their intimacy with Christ and thrive in their relationships. Her work is featured on multiple websites including Women of Noble Character, Pray with Confidence, and The Brave Women Series. Mary is the author of, “Identity, Understanding, and Accepting Who I Am in Christ” and, “Life Changing Stories” a collaboration with 34 authors sharing stories of God’s faithfulness. Besides writing, Mary leads small groups and speaks at retreats. She directed Kids Hope USA, a mentoring program for children, worked in marketing and sales, and has led mission trips to Honduras. Mary is a life coach with a Bachelor's degree in Marketing and an MBA. She and her wonderful husband Cory live in New Orleans and are the parents of four children, a new daughter-in-law, and two dogs! Connect with Mary on Instagram or Facebook.

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