Trust God and Be Happy

As if we didn’t already have enough reasons to trust God with our lives, could it also turn out that trusting in God will bring us happiness?

Yes, that is exactly the case. Our heavenly Father wants us to rely completely on him, so much so that He makes it that if we do trust him completely, our lives will be better for it. 

Take a look at Proverbs 16:20b in the ESV (English Standard Version):

Blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.

The word that is translated “blessed” in this verse can also be translated as “happy.” Some translations, including the CSB (Christian Standard Bible) actually render the verse that way. 

God is telling us that we will be happier and more joyful if we’ll just trust in Him and His guidance. Whenever our eyes stray away from God and onto our own way of thinking, we’ll get into trouble. It’s far better to trust in the Lord for everything, plus doing so will bring more joy into our lives.

In Psalm 34:8, we’re told:

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

Once again, the word translated as “blessed” can also mean “happy.” Go ahead and take refuge in the Lord. Make Him your mighty fortress when the challenges of life come your way, because they surely will. 

In fact, we should make it a priority to rejoice in our trials, as we’re commanded in James 1:2-3:

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.

Let’s get to the point where we welcome struggles and challenges every day because we know they’ll increase our faith in God.

I, for one, will admit that this area has been a huge problem for me. When something goes wrong, often my first inclination is to blame God, and even get mad at Him for it.

After all, I’m a “good Christian,” right? I shouldn’t have to deal with a broken-down car or plumbing problems at 2 a.m., should I?

God never promises that following Jesus would eliminate all our problems and frustrations. What He does promise is that if we’ll take refuge in Him when faced with challenges, that we can have joy and that our faith will grow.

Furthermore, we can thrive during rough times. Just read Jeremiah 17:7-8:

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream…and is not anxious in the year of drought.

Trusting in God wholeheartedly not only can bring us happiness and joy, it is also a potent antidote for anxiety. And in these trying times of global pandemic, chaos, and political upheaval, it doesn’t get much better than that. 

God wants and longs for what’s best for you. Take Him at His word—begin a new pattern of trusting Him with the entirety of your life, even the smallest of details. 

When you turn everything over to Him, He’ll shoulder the burden (1 Peter 5:7) and you can rest in the joy of the Lord.

Imagine Yourself a Happy Person

The next time you’re feeling blue (or down in the dumps, depressed, or whatever you want to call it), here’s a simple exercise that you can try that will make you feel better.

Ask yourself, “How would I act if I weren’t depressed, if I were a genuinely happy person?” Focus on trying to imagine yourself acting that way. Picture yourself with a carefree, happy smile on your face, talking easily to strangers, smiling uncontrollably because life feels so darned good.

Spend a few minutes really concentrating on fleshing out the details of this image. What would you eyes look like as they sparkled with joy? Would others see your pearly white teeth as you would be unable to hide your huge, happy smile? What would your body language look like? Would you hold your shoulders back and your head high?

Once you’ve really nailed this image in your head, NOW GO DO IT. Act like that genuinely happy person who doesn’t have a care in the world. Take the day by the horns and make it yours.

Smile easily, laugh loudly, show others how much you enjoy being in their presence. Walk like you have a purpose.

Do this exercise every day for a couple of weeks. It may feel corny at first, but over time it will become more natural feeling. As the old saying goes, “Fake it ‘til you make it.”

You may just find yourself experiencing those genuine feelings of happiness more and more. Wouldn’t that be great?

Paint Your Face How You Want to Feel

Have you ever heard the saying, “Fake it till you make it”?

Simply put, it refers to acting a certain way until you actually begin to feel that way. Motivational speakers often explain the power of this life hack to crowds of business or sales professionals.

However, you can use it in your everyday life as well. If you want to feel more confident when you’re at a party or get-together, for example, just act like you are a confident, relaxed person. Walk into the room with your head held high and a walk that says you know what you want out of life.

One of the most important parts of this technique is your facial expression.

Did you know that you can actually trick your mind into thinking you feel a certain way? Normally, we look at things the other way around—whatever emotion we feel or think about (joy, sadness, anger, etc.) is consequently displayed on our face (using our eyes and mouth).

But, the opposite is also true. If we put a big smile on our face, we can’t help but feel better. That’s right, smile really big and see if you don’t feel happier. You can actually change your mood instantly just by changing your facial expression.

That’s what I like to call “Paint Your Face How You Want to Feel,” or PYFHYWTF. If you want to feel joyful, put a big grin on your face. If you want to feel calm and relaxed, smile serenely and narrow your eyes a bit like you’re basking in the breeze on a warm beach and almost ready to doze off.

The effect is even more powerful if you do this while looking in a mirror.

There is an abundance of science behind why smiling makes us feel better. When our smile muscles contract to form a smile, they fire a signal back to the brain to stimulate the production of endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin that make us feel happier.

And when we’re happier, we smile more. It’s a positive reward cycle that can be set into motion just by smiling.

Imagine yourself as being happy and the feelings will follow.

Psychology Today has several online articles about the positive aspects of smiling—here and here are just two of them. The British Council even recommends holding a pencil between our teeth to exercise our smile muscles.

Not that you’d necessarily ever want to feel angry, but if you did, you could make yourself feel that emotion just by creating and angry expression.

That’s why when something small bothers you and you start to show it on your face, the emotions involved can quickly escalate. Before you know it, you’re full of rage over something insignificant.

You have much more power over your emotions than you might have realized.

Go on, give it a try. Stand in front of a mirror and give yourself your best smile and see what happens.