Q: Are Christians supposed to be happy all the time? I’ve heard people say this, but I just don’t think it’s possible. I can’t avoid getting in the dumps when things aren’t going right. — S.U.
A: God gave our emotions to us, and when things aren’t going well our emotions certainly can overwhelm us, and God understands this. Nowhere does God promise we’ll always be free of sorrow or conflict.
Think, for example, of what some of God’s servants in the Bible felt. In the midst of great suffering Job pleaded with God to take his life. Paul was deeply burdened when believers wandered from the truth. The Psalmist frequently found himself in despair because of his enemies. Even Jesus wept as he faced the agony of the cross. The Bible says, “There is a time for everything … a time to weep and a time to laugh” (Ecclesiastes 3:1,4).
But the Bible also points us to a startling truth: Even in the midst of unhappiness we can have joy — an inner peace that comes from knowing God loves us and is ultimately in control. Once we understand this, we know he is with us, and nothing can ever separate us from Christ and his love. Jesus said, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:11).
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When circumstances weigh you down, commit them to Christ and ask him to help you trust him, no matter what happens. The Bible says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.