Do We Always Have to Be Happy?


The Bible doesn't give us a green light for our emotions to run wild. But we don't have to wear a mask of fake happiness either.

Here's what being a Christian does mean:

  • We can have joy because we have much to celebrate.
  • We have hope that our present circumstances are nothing compared to the reward our God has promised us.
  • In all circumstances we can give thanks because of what God has saved us from.

Here's what it doesn't mean:

  • We have to wear a constant smile.
  • Life will always be butterflies and roses.
  • Depression will never knock on the door of our hearts.

Sometimes we get the message that because we have tremendous hope in Christ, we should never allow ourselves to feel emotions like sadness, anger, fear, or even depression. But this isn't what the Bible teaches. Check out the raw emotions of some of these Bible heroes.

But Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry (Jonah 4:1).

Elijah was afraid and ran for his life.... He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. "I have had enough, LORD," he said. "Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors" (1 Kings 19:3–4).

I am bowed down and brought very low; all day long I go about mourning. My back is filled with searing pain; there is no health in my body. I am feeble and utterly crushed; I groan in anguish of heart (King David in Psalm 38:6–8).

He looked around them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, "Stretch out your hand" (Jesus in Mark 3:5).

The bottom line is that we live fractured lives in a broken world. We often face difficult circumstances that can cause us to feel things like anger, sadness, and anxiety. God never asks us to stuff those feelings or to sweep them under the rug. It doesn't make you a better Christian to always have a smile on your face.

The Bible doesn't give us a green light to allow our emotions to run wild. But we don't have to wear a mask of fake happiness either. No matter what you're feeling, give yourself permission to be honest about it with your Savior. I know for a fact He'd love to hear about it.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).

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