Do you want to be happy?

Do you want to be happy?

How do you actually become happy? How do you get real peace, happiness and joy in life?

18/12/20236 min

By ActiveChristianity

Do you want to be happy?

I think everyone wants to be happy. But how do you actually become happy? How do you get real peace and joy in life? Is that really possible?

I remember a story I heard a while ago, about a weak, old man who was walking together with a younger man. The old man turned to the young man and said with enthusiasm, “I am so happy! Do you know why? Because there isn’t anything I want anymore outside of God!” During his life, the old man had day after day given up his own selfish will to do God’s good will, and he was content with how God had planned things for him in his life. That is what had made him so happy.

Recently, I watched a TV-program about young people and how they wanted their lives to go. They wanted a high standard lifestyle with big homes, expensive cars and good looks. But what troubled me was that these young people seemed very sure that if they got all these things, they would be happy. Is this true?

I thought back to the words of the old man, about how clear and simple those words of the old man were. His words showed that he had a far better understanding of what happiness is than most people. It is a happiness no matter what your outward circumstances are. It is the joy you receive by giving up your own will to do God’s will.

It is actually that simple. You can become happy by giving up all your own selfish demands on people and on life in general.

An example in happy living

In Hebrews 1:9 (NLT) it is written about Jesus: “You love justice and hate evil. Therefore, O God, your God has anointed you, pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else.”

This verse describes how it was for Jesus while He lived here on earth. He was anointed with the oil of joy more than anyone else; in other words, He was happier than all the people around Him. But what was this justice that He loved, and where did the evil that He hated come from?

Jesus Himself says, “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” John 6:38. He loved to do God’s will. The evil which He hated, was His own will – where His own will went against what God wanted Him to do.

We see, for example, in Matthew 26:38-44 how Jesus battled in His prayers so that His own will would not get any power. This is how Jesus battled every day of His life when He saw that He was tempted to be irritated, worried or impatient etc. He loved God’s will, which was that He should suffer patiently, be merciful with people, bless, and do good.

Like this old man, Jesus did not want anything for Himself outside God. Every day while He was here on earth, He gave Himself to do the will of His heavenly Father, and at the same time said No to everything that was outside of this will.

If I believe that the life of Jesus is worth following, I must also give up my own human will just like Jesus did!

I will become happy if I give up my own will

As human beings, we have a very strong will of our own that shows itself from the time we are small children. And we have opinions about all kinds of things - about our rights, how people should treat us, how we look, what we can do, and how we want things to be. When things don’t go how we want them to, or someone is against us and against what we want, then our happiness is put to the test. It’s in these situations, which all people experience, that we so easily become worried, bitter or feel we are treated unjustly.

But how can we keep our happiness, peace, and joy in such circumstances?

Simply by giving up my own will and demands, and trusting in God - that is what Jesus also did while He was here on earth. Our sinful human will is always against God’s will as it says so clearly in Romans 8:7 (GNT), “And so people become enemies of God when they are controlled by their human nature; for they do not obey God's law, and in fact they cannot obey it.” If we don’t give up our own human will, it will drive us farther and farther away from Jesus who gave up His own will.

If in the situations I choose to say “Yes” to my own will (meaning that I say “No” to God’s will) I will end up in emptiness, in an unhappy and lonely place, alone with my own demands and expectations, and away from God and his perfect plan for my life.

If we want to be happy, we must place our whole life in God’s hands and trust our Heavenly Father. Then the word from Matthew 6:33 (NLT) will be fulfilled, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.” Only then we will be truly happy!

May many people find the way to a happy life through this simple recipe, “No demands.”

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This article is based on an article by Karina Schytt originally published on and has been adapted with permission for use on this website.