How to Be a Happier Christian

Been a little down lately? Overcome your boring monotonous mindset by making a trade. This little known method is graciously given to us in one of the most beautiful verses in Holy Scripture: (Isaiah 61:3) “ give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.” Notice that He mentioned the spirit of heaviness; a pretty good description of feeling down, don‘t you think? You just can’t shake that heaviness of spirit that lays over you like a blanket, robbing you of all enjoyment. Wouldn’t you just love to trade that off for something better? Using the secret of exchange, we are going to get rid of that blanket of depression using these steps.


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    Bring your dejection, your mourning, the ashes of your life and put it upon the table. You must be truly prepared to relinquish it entirely, thus disqualifying yourself from the comforts that accompany darkness of mind and spirit. You didn’t realize the perks? Well, they are there and very real. The comfort of your own self pity and perhaps that of Mom or other family members. The solace of knowing everything would have been so different in your life if they hadn’t done something to hurt you or if something hadn’t happened to you; better known as the victim mentality, thus relieving you of responsibility for your lack of motivation or joy. In fact, you and everyone else has ‘lowered the bar’ for you and not a lot is expected of you because of your ‘extenuating circumstances’. So, be ready to lose this rather bleak pay off along with your dejection!
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    Get to work on this trade by taking charge of your thoughts. When you are feeling low, you have more than a little trouble accessing good and happy positives available to you, for your thoughts stubbornly keep returning to the things that are wrong in your life then insist on predicting bad things to come! You need a concrete tool to help you direct your mind toward new horizons. Let’s use Psalm 100:4 -- “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.” Using this verse, begin the process.
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    Acknowledge God's existence, His authority, His ownership of all things -- including yourself, His involvement in your life, and His ability to affect the outcome of your life and circumstances. (Your load is already lightened when you realize it is not all upon your shoulders -- that truly, God is in control.)
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    Come with thanksgiving. Your depression has stolen from you the realization of all that is good in your life. You must deliberately force your mind to go and retrieve these things. Get a pen and notebook and begin a list of good things in and about your life that you can be thankful for. You will be amazed at what you find! It might be as simple as how good the cold milk is when you drink it with cobbler, or a very sweet memory of your mother playing with you when you were little. It might be that you get a check every month to meet your needs. You are manually retraining your mind, taking it from the well worn grooves it continually runs along to access worry, regret, fears. You are reprogramming it to search for good things; positive things that will make life worth living! Be strong and forcefully keep populating your list. You are alive and actually there are many things to be thankful for! As you reflect upon the things on your list it opens your eyes to the good things in your life and you can see them again!
    • You will feel the flutter of real, unforced gratitude, realizing as you do that God is the giver of every good thing -- your life, your very breath, for He is good and with Him all things are possible! As you see indisputable proof of His goodness and blessing upon your life, you will begin to be truly thankful -- for the air conditioning, for the neighbor who smiles at you, that your shoulder doesn’t hurt like it used to! Suddenly, your gratitude turns to praise to God for He is good! He didn’t have to be so good to you and everyone. He did it because He is good and worthy of praise.


  • As you enjoy these thoughts and memories, your brain will begin to release endorphins and your mood will lighten.
  • You may use your list to find patterns in your life. When and where were you the happiest and most successful? Is there a way back? Or forward to similar circumstances? Perhaps a move back home, or a new job if you were better satisfied when you didn’t have so much time on your hands.
  • If you have trouble thinking of things to go on your list, try using this helpful verse: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Phillipians 4:8)
  • Your list will go on forever. Everyday you will find new things to list. Good things. It can become your own beautiful lifestyle. Seeing good. Thanking God. Wearing your beautiful garment of praise to Him, for all He has given you.
  • As you reconnect with the good events in your life, you will be encouraged to return to them. Remembering the pleasure of seeing little children giggling and playing in the park can take you out of your recliner and put you on a park bench! Recalling something your sister and you did together years ago may just prompt you to call her and ask her if she remembers that time.
  • Read examples of people who have been given great happiness directly from God.


  • Beware. Your mind will continually try to return to the old paths. Take control and relentlessly make it return to where you direct it, to all the goodness and mercy of God who has given you all things richly to enjoy! Any time you get down, grab that notebook and run to the gate with your thanksgiving! Once inside His courtyard, slide into that garment of praise, hand over your spirit of heaviness, and enjoy yourself!

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Categories: Christianity