I meet a lot of people. Unfortunately, many people I meet are unhappy. Do you find yourself constantly unhappy? Do you know people who are unhappy? If so, here are five reasons you, or someone you know, might not be happy. I don’t want these to seem harsh–just honest.

Why am I not happy?

1. You’re Not Happy Because You Don’t Have What You Want

This is probably true of almost every unhappy person. Even if we are just unhappy for a moment, it is usually because we don’t have something we want. Maybe we want to feel well, but we don’t, so we’re unhappy. Maybe we want a great marriage, but we don’t have it, so we’re unhappy. Maybe we want to be with people we love, but we can’t be for some reason, so we’re unhappy. What should you do if you are unhappy because you don’t have something you want?

Simply put, you need to want what you have. God’s word teaches us to be content with what we have (1 Timothy 6:6-8). Sometimes, we just have to acknowledge the fact that we don’t have everything we want; but we do have everything we need in Christ (Philippians 4:19). Learn to want what you have and you won’t be so concerned about what you don’t have.

2. You’re Not Happy Because You’re Not Doing Things God’s Way

Sometimes unhappiness comes from experiencing the consequences of poor choices. When a person drinks all night and has a hangover the next morning, they are probably not very happy (Proverbs 23:29-35). And they shouldn’t be happy; they should be miserable. Experiencing painful consequences is often the motivation we need to make changes in our lives.

If you’re unhappy, maybe you need to ask yourself, “Have I caused this situation?” If your unhappiness has been caused by your own sin, then own it. Repent of your sin (Luke 13:3). Stop making the same choices that brought you to this point. Start doing things God’s way.

Doing things God’s way does not mean you’ll never experience pain and suffering. But, you will experience far less pain and suffering in life when you stop bringing it upon yourself.

3. You’re Not Happy Because You’re Being Ungrateful

Sometimes I wonder, how could you think you’re life is horrible, don’t you know what you deserve? Every single one of us deserves death, because every single one of us has sinned (Romans 3:23; 6:23). Not just physical death; we deserve eternal death–an eternity in hell! As long as you are not in hell, you have a life that is better than you deserve.

Furthermore, if you are in Christ, you have an abundant life (John 10:10). You have so much to be thankful for (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18), why waste your life being ungrateful?

One of the greatest ways to “turn your frown upside down” is by remembering how blessed you really are. Start praising God for all you have and it won’t be long before you’re not unhappy anymore.

4. You’re Not Happy Because You’re Being Selfish

If I asked you, “Who are you trying to make happy?” And you answered, “Myself.” I would respond, “That’s your problem!” When you focus on yourself, you are destined to be unhappy. In fact, when you chase happiness and self-satisfaction, you are destined to be unhappy. It is only when you stop thinking about your happiness and your own satisfaction that you can truly experience happiness.

Happy people die to themselves and live for Christ (Galatians 2:20). When you die to self, you can experience a happiness (joy) that transcends your circumstances (James 1:2). When you live to please Him and do His will (2 Corinthians 5:9), then you will experience true happiness and joy.

You will never find true and lasting happiness in a romantic relationship, in money, in more stuff, in a better job, etc. The only place you can find true happiness is in Christ.

5. You’re Not Happy Because You’re Comfortable Being Unhappy

You might be saying, “Wait a minute; nobody wants to be unhappy.” That may be true; nobody may want to be unhappy. But, many people are comfortable being unhappy.

Some people are comfortable being unhappy because they don’t want to go through the pain of changing. It is hard making the necessary changes to become a happy person. After all, dying to self is hard. But, I think it is harder living a miserable life…and it especially harder living a miserable eternity.

So, you’re going to have to ask yourself the question, “Do I really want to be happy? Am I willing to do what’s necessary to be happy?” If so, I would encourage you to read Matthew 5:2-12, and replace the word, “blessed” with “happy.” That’s really what “blessed” means, to be happy, satisfied, and fulfilled. The key to happiness is not what people expect; in fact, it is the opposite of what most people expect. But, it works!

If you really want to be happy, stop doing things your way, surrender, and do things His way.

I love you and God loves you,

Wes McAdams


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