Does the Bible equate being joyful with being happy?


From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Q: I fight discouragement daily though I am a strong believer and follower of Jesus Christ. I read devotionals that make me feel ashamed because I don’t measure up to the standard of being happy by others expectations. I don’t find the word “happy” in the Bible, but there are lots of references to being joyful in the midst of trials. Is this true? – F.D.

A: It’s important to remember that the devil wants us to live discouraged lives. If we focus on what is bad, we pull the shade on future’s light. Wearing a smile and having a glimmer in the eye encourages those we come in contact with. Many may be more discouraged than we are.

We must desire to live an outflowing life in the context of eternity. When Jesus left this earth after His resurrection, He said, “It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you” (John 16:7, NKJV). That Helper is the Holy Spirit of the living God.

Do not be trapped by the world’s darkness. If you belong to Jesus Christ, you are a child of light. Remember, if you are discouraged, imagine how much more discouraged others are. Make a point to be pleasant and smile. People from every race and culture respond to a smile. Try it and you will see. There is indeed so much unpleasantness in this world, but the Bible says that the kingdom of God is “peace and joy” (Romans 14:17, NKJV).


Living a joyful life, in spite of discouragement, is a strong testimony that Christ lives in us. This makes for sweeter days.

======== (This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

©2024 Billy Graham Literary Trust. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.





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