rebelling against low expectations

What’s the Secret to Being a Happy Teen?


What is the secret to a happy life?

Everyone’s asking, most of them subconsciously. It only takes a few seconds of looking around to see it.

Hollywood wants to tell us that it’s fame, beauty, even romance.

Books say it’s glory, strength, or power.

Commercials and billboards insist that a certain pair of jeans or brand of makeup or fast-food restaurant will lead us to the bliss we seek.

As believers, it’s easy to disregard those messages … at least, when we see them.

The problem is that we’re subconsciously looking for happiness in the same way as everyone else, and the culture around us is more than willing to provide answers.

The tricky thing is that they don’t say it clearly: “For a perfect life, take the next right!”

The ideas creep silkily into our minds and build their nests. But their answers are wrong, and we must reject them.

What, then, is the secret to a happy life?

I’m talking about a true happy life, not just finding the “next big thing.”

Well, it’s not actually a secret, because God tells us outright.

The secret to a happy life is God Himself.

God is the source of all fulfilling happiness and true joy. There’s no point in chasing the things of this world, which only satisfy for a short time.

God’s happiness lasts into eternity.

In St. Augustine’s The City of God, he writes (discussing angels and demons),

“Wherefore, if when the question is asked, why are the former blessed, it is rightly answered, because they adhere to God; and when it is asked, why are the latter miserable, it is rightly answered, because they do not adhere to God.”

The angels are always with God and serving His purposes. They are filled with joy and happiness. The demons cannot stand to be before God and they rebel against His goodness. They will always be miserable.

James 4:8 tells us to “draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” When God draws near to you, He brings His perfect joy with Him.

Think for a moment about any stories you’ve heard of martyrs who went to their deaths faithfully.

Many of them went praising and glorifying God. They repeatedly astounded their persecutors by singing to their Lord even as death approached. They didn’t have what the people around them considered a happy life — far from it.

But they knew they were going to a place where they would always be with God and that gave them joy.

I know that I am a much happier person when I simply spend time with God in the morning.

Rest in His promises and strive to know Him. Knock and the door will be opened. Seek and you will find. Ask and it will be given.

God wants His children to be happy, but He only gives us permanent joy when we turn to Him for it.

The secret to happiness is not money. It’s not good grades. It’s not the perfect body. It’s not even that flawless face on the billboard.

The secret to happiness is God.

Share Your Thoughts in the Comment Section!

There are currently __ Comment(s)


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the author

Kira Quintin

is a homeschooled writer who is the oldest of seven children. She loves to run while watching the sun rise over the mountains of Virginia when she’s not living vicariously through the hero of some adventure book. She’s always dreamed of being an author and hones her writing skills on her blog, Kira Writes.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • I LOVE this, Kira! So true! I agree, I’m so much more joyful and peaceful if I just spend time with God every morning, rooting and grounding myself in His love before the day starts. 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing this with us!

  • I know that this is sort of off topic but can one of the admin tell me why The Rebelution was down for like a week? If this is formatted rude, I apologize, I was just curious.

    • I’m not an admin, but they told me that they were “experiencing some technical difficulties over the past few days which have made it impossible for us to publish anything.” This post was supposed to go up at the beginning of the month, but I think they got it fixed as quickly as they could. 🙂

  • Good article! I think it is important to note, however, that there is a definite difference between happiness and joy. Happiness is never something promised by God on this earth. However, we can ALWAYS find true joy in God, even when our circumstances may keep us from being happy. The world looks for happiness, but we should be looking for joy and contentment. Happiness generally reflects the way our life is going at a given point in time, whereas joy reflects our attitude about life.

    • Thank you for clarifying that – I certainly didn’t mean to imply that happiness should be our life goal! I would have to say that I think joy often does translate into happiness. Not always, but often. For me, when I am able to experience true joy from God in a terrible situation, it lifts my mood. Thank you for pointing out the difference!

  • Thanks so much for this article!
    I do agree. It seems like God designed His creation to actually receive pleasure when it does what He created it to do. It’s really amazing. I think when we live how God originally designed us to live, we are able to be happy as a result. Not that happiness is the goal – not at all! But I’m certainly thankful God created the emotion!

    • That’s a great observation about doing what we were created to do bringing us pleasure. I’d never thought about it that way before, but you are so right.

      • Thanks Kira! It’s pretty amazing, just thinking about how God created us. What would life be without sin? I guess we have to wait until heaven to fully understand it!

By Kira Quintin
rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →