Posted on FaithlifeBlog, April 29, 2016
At the heart of Randy Alcorn’s book Happiness is the simple belief that Christians, having a direct relationship with the source of all happiness, should be happy.
This isn’t a call for delusional ignorance of the terrible things that happen all around us, or the sinful embrace of all things that may produce some fleeting glimpse of happiness. Alcorn spent three years compiling hundreds of pages of research to demonstrate that God does desire for us to be happy, and that Christians have historically embraced that Christianity leads to happiness.
Alcorn opposes the distinction some Christians make between happiness and joy, arguing that it’s unbiblical, and not constructive.
Here are 27 Christian quotes on happiness, which Alcorn uses to compliment his comprehensive study of happiness in Scripture:
“In him the day-spring from on high has visited the world; and happy are we, forever happy, if that day-star arise in our hearts.” —Matthew Henry
“There is nothing dreary and doubtful about [life]. It is meant to be continually joyful...We are called to a settled happiness in the Lord whose joy is our strength.” —Amy Carmichael
“He has no design upon us, but to make us happy...Who should be cheerful, if not the people of God?” —Thomas Watson
“Those who are ‘beloved of the Lord’ must be the most happy and joyful people to be found anywhere upon the face of the earth.” —Charles Spurgeon
“Man was not originally made to mourn; he was made to rejoice. The Garden of Eden was his place of happy abode, and as long as he continued in obedience to God, nothing grew in that Garden that could cause him sorrow.” —Charles Spurgeon
“God made human beings as He made His other creatures, to be happy...They are in their right element when they are happy.” —Charles Spurgeon
“The most essential and active desire in human nature is to happiness...There is nothing more uniform and inviolable than the natural inclination to happiness.” —William Bates
“While other worldviews lead us to sit in the midst of life’s joys, foreseeing the coming sorrows, Christianity empowers its people to sit in the midst of this world’s sorrows, tasting the coming joy.” —Timothy Keller
“Every man, whatsoever his condition, desires to be happy.” —Saint Augustine
“For who wishes anything for any other reason than that he may become happy?” —Saint Augustine
“There is no man who does not desire [happiness], and each one desires it with such earnestness that he prefers it to all other things; whoever, in fact, desires other things, desires them for this end alone.” —Saint Augustine
“It is as natural for the reasonable creature to desire to be happy, as it is for the fire to burn.” —Thomas Manton
“Happiness being by all men desirable, the desire of it is naturally engrafted in every man; and is the centre of all the searchings of his heart and turnings of his life.” —Richard Sibbes
“Consider what man is. He is a creature that desires happiness, and cannot but desire it. The desire of happiness is woven into his nature, and cannot be eradicated. It is as natural for him to desire as it is to breathe.” —Thomas Boston
“There is no man upon the earth who isn’t earnestly seeking after happiness, and it appears abundantly by the variety of ways they so vigorously seek it; they will twist and turn every way, ply all instruments, to make themselves happy men.” —Jonathan Edwards
"Resolved, to endeavor to obtain for myself as much happiness in the other world as I possibly can, with all the power, might, vigour, and vehemence...I am capable of.” —Jonathan Edwards
“Does [Jesus] want your heart only for the same end as the devil does, to make you miserable? No, he only wants you to believe on him, that you might be saved. This, this, is all the dear Savior desires, to make you happy, that you may leave your sins, to sit down eternally with him.” —George Whitefield
“Man is bored, because he is too big to be happy with that which sin is giving him.” —A.W. Tozer
“For whatever else the Fall may have been, it was most certainly a sharp change in man’s relation to his Creator. He...destroyed the proper Creator-creature relation in which, unknown to him, his true happiness lay.” —A.W. Tozer
“Give me an explanation, first, of the towering eccentricity of man among the brutes; second, of the vast human tradition of some ancient happiness.” —G.K. Chesterton
“It is a Christian duty...for everyone to be as happy as he can.” —C.S. Lewis
“The happiness which God designs for His higher creatures is the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to Him and to each other in an ecstasy of love and delight compared with which the most rapturous love between man and a woman on this earth is mere milk and water.” —C.S. Lewis
"We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” —C.S. Lewis
“Let us leave sadness to the devil and his angels. As for us, what can we be but rejoicing and glad?” —St. Francis of Assisi
“I have neither tongue nor pen to express to you the happiness of such as are in Christ.” —Samuel Rutherford
“Christ [is] the very essence of all delights and pleasures, the very soul and substance of them. As all the rivers are gathered into the ocean...so Christ is that ocean in which all true delights and pleasures meet.” —John Flavel
“I assert without hesitation, that the conversion described in Scripture is a happy thing and not a miserable one, and that if converted persons are not happy, the fault must be in themselves...I am confident that the converted man is the happiest man.” —J.C. Ryle
Randy Alcorn’s book, Happiness, represents three years of exhaustive work studying what the Bible says about happiness, and tracing that perspective throughout the history of the church. Assembling hundreds of quotes, examining hundreds of passages, Alcorn sets out to prove that God not only wants us to be happy, but commands and empowers us to be happy in him.
Get your copy of Happiness today.