Image by KAL Visuals for Unsplash


“In year 7, I went on a school camp. Besides lots of physical activities, we had to do group chats with our peer support leaders. In one of our sessions, our leaders asked us what we want to be in the future. When it came to my turn to share, young, year-7-me said to the group, “I want to be successful.” And the year 10 peer support leader affirmed what I said and she added, “I’d like to be happy.”

When I look outside the window of my lower north shore apartment in Sydney, I can’t help but think that we are the most entertained generation in history. We have the luxury of free time and freedom to travel, albeit in a post-covid world. There are spas and infinite social groups. There’s live events, cafes and restaurants. Make a wish and you shall receive.

Yet why does a simple wish, like what my year 7 peer support leader once said “I’d like to be happy”, is becoming more elusive and harder to receive? Happiness is so fleeting; sadness comes soon after.
God wants us to be happy, but we got it all wrong. The truth is: Happiness starts with God. God is our life-giver.

The Bible tells us that the Spirit is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Gal 5: 22-3). The Holy Spirit, who is God, is joy, so we must always start with God first.

Like a concentric circle, the core of our being should centre our lives around Jesus first.
He is the source of our joy and happiness. And then, we move out to the next
circle: relationships.

Healthy relationships bring joy to our lives. We were made for relationships. And finally, we move to our last circle: everything else. All good things come from God. It’s good to enjoy a nice meal, watch a movie or relax in a spa.

So start with God. Keep coming back to our loving Creator who has infinite joy and happiness to give you. Don’t chase happiness. Happiness is a by-product of our experiences.

God wants us to prioritise loving him and others first. Rather than thinking of our own happiness, if we tried to make others happy, we will discover the joy of experiencing God because God also constantly find ways to make us happy.

So let’s take our focus off of ourselves and put it on God and others.
Don’t give up – You might be at a really low point in your life and I’m so sorry that you are in this circumstance. Our Heavenly Father grieves with you when you’re sad. The Bible exhorts us:

“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” (Phil 4: 6-7).

  • by Rachel Li, for Press Services International & Christian Today, May 2022
  • Original source @
  • by KAL Visuals on Unsplash