Not Always Happy

Jesus wept.
—John 11:35

There’s a misguided notion that Christians should always be happy, never morose—and it creates a boatload of guilt.

Happiness and joy are not the same. Jesus wanted his disciples to be full of joy (Jn 15:11)—yet, it was an unhappy time for them, for he was leaving them.

Both joy and sadness are on display at many funerals: joy in knowing the eternal destiny of the deceased; sorrow in the present loss of a loved one.

Jesus wasn’t always happy. He was often disappointed in his disciples, wept at the grave of a friend, and was “overwhelmed with sorrow” in Gethsemane.

Happiness is determined by happenings, which aren’t always favorable. Don’t beat up on yourself for not being perpetually happy—but grateful that nothing can “take your joy from you” (Jn 16:22).

Happiness comes and goes.
Joy is permanent.

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