Sermon quotes on happiness

W.H. Auden

In times of joy, we all wish we had a tail we could wag.


G.K. Chesterton

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.

Dr. Seuss

Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.



There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.


Victor Hugo

The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.

Immanuel Kant

Rules for Happiness: something to do, someone to love, something to hope for.


C.S. Lewis

“A pleasure is full grown only when it is remembered…What it will be when I remember it as I lie down to die, what it makes in me all my days till then-that is the real meeting. The other is only the beginning of it.”

Out of the Silent Planet

C.S. Lewis

Do not let your happiness depend on something you may lose … only [upon] the Beloved who will never pass away.


Abraham Lincoln

Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.

John Medina

Researchers have discovered that when people sing as a group, as they would in a choir, oxytocin courses through their brains. An uptick in the hormone is a fairly reliable indicator of feelings of trust, love, and acceptance.

Brain Rules


Mark Oerter

We aim for happiness but we settle for pleasure…which is only momentary.

John Piper

Money exerts a certain control over us because it seems to hold out so much (false) promise of happiness. It whispers with great force, “Think and act so as to get into a position to enjoy my benefits.” This may include stealing, borrowing, or working. Money promises happiness, and we serve it by believing the promise and walking by that faith.

 J.R.R. Tolkien

If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.


Leo Tolstoy 

“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” 

Anna Karenina

David Brooks

People shoot for happiness, but they often feel empty, alone, and without meaning…People shoot for happiness but feel formed through suffering…Happiness wants you to think about maximizing your benefits. Difficulty and suffering send you on a different course…the right response to this sort of pain is not pleasure. It’s holiness…placing the hard experiences in a moral context and trying to redeem something bad by turning it it into something sacred. In the process, we may not come out healed; we come out different.

What Suffering Does, New York Times, April 7, 2014.

M. Scott Peck

Simply Seek happiness, and you are not likely to find it. Seek to create and love without regard to your happiness, and you will likely be happy much of the time. Seeking joy in and of itself will not bring it to you. Do the work of creating community, and you will obtain it-although never exactly according to your schedule. Joy is an uncapturable yet utterly predictable side effect of genuine community.

The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace

Brother Lawrence

There’s no greater lifestyle and no greater happiness than that of having a continual conversation with God.

Michael Howard

Your well-being is more dramatically affected by the people you see every day, people who live within a few blocks of your house, people who live within a few miles, than it is by distant connections.

The New Science of Happiness and What It Means for Parents,” Fatherly, June 27, 2015, accessed May 10, 2019.

Albert Schweitzer

I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.

C.S. Lewis

I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity.

William H Sheldon

Happiness is essentially a state of going somewhere, wholeheartedly, one-directionally, without reservation or regret.

G.K. Chesterton

It is a mark of the essential morality of fairyland (a thing too commonly overlooked) that happiness, like happiness anywhere else, involves an object and even a challenge; we can only admire scenery if we want to get past it.


Finnish Proverb

Happiness is a place between too little and too much.

Timothy Keller

If you seek righteousness first, you get happiness. If you seek happiness first, you get neither.

Christopher Lasch

People today hunger not for personal salvation, let alone for the restoration of an earlier golden age, but for the feeling, the momentary illusion, of personal well-being, health, and psychic security.

The Culture of Narcissism, p.17.

Mary Wollstonecraft

No man chooses evil because it’s evil. He only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks.

A Vindication of the Rights of Women & a Vindication of the Rights of Men”, Cosimo, Inc, 2008.

Thomas Merton

Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony.

No Man is an Island, Harticourt Trade Publishers, 1955.

Augustine of Hippo

Every man, whatsoever his condition, desires to be happy.

Thomas A. Hand, St. Augustine on Prayer (South Bend, IN: Newman Press, 1963), p.1.

Augustine of Hippo

For who wishes anything for any other reason than that he may become happy?

“Concerning Felicity,” The City of God, trans. Marcus Dods, book 4.

Randy Alcorn

Until Christ completely cures us and this world, our happiness will be punctuated by times of great sorrow. But that doesn’t mean we can’t be predominantly happy in Christ. Being happy as the norm rather than the exception is not wishful thinking. It’s based on solid facts: God secured our eternal happiness through a cross and an empty tomb. He is with us and in us right this moment. And he tells us to be happy in him.

Happiness, Tyndale House, 2015.

Randy Alcorn

Happy people look beyond their circumstances to someone so big that by his grace, even great difficulties become manageable—and provide opportunities for a deeper kind of happiness.

Happiness, Tyndale House, 2015.

Randy Alcorn

Anyone who waits for happiness will never be happy. Happiness escapes us until we understand why we should be happy, change our perspective, and develop habits of happiness.

Happiness, Tyndale House, 2015.

Matthew Henry

In him the day-spring from on high has visited the world; and happy are we, for ever happy, if that day-star arise in our hearts.

Timothy Keller

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.

Walking with God through Pain and Suffering (New York: Dutton, 2013), p.31.

Thomas Manton

It is as natural for the reasonable creature to desire to be happy, as it is for the fire to burn… But we do not make a right choice of the means that may bring us to that happiness that we desire. [Human beings] choose means quite contrary to happiness.

Twenty Sermons on Important Passages of Scripture,” The Complete Works of Thomas Manton, vol. 2.

Dennis Prager

[Contemporary Research suggests there is] little correlation between the circumstances of people’s lives and how happy they are.

Happiness Is a Serious Problem: A Human Nature Repair Manual (New York: ReganBooks, 1998), 115.

Thomas Watson

He has no design upon us, but to make us happy. . . . Who should be cheerful, if not the people of God?

A Divine Cordial: Romans 8:28.

William Bates

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.

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.

Richard Sibbes

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.

Blaise Pascal

All men seek happiness. This is without exception.

Jonathan Edwards

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.

“Christian Happiness,” The Works of Jonathan Edwards: Sermons and Discourses, 1720–1723, vol. 10.

L.K. Washburn

There is a constant mental pilgrimage towards that Mecca of the human heart—happiness. . . . Everybody wants to be happy, and thinks, strives, wishes, and lives to that end.

“Helps to Happiness,” Freethinker 18, part 2, July 24, 1898, 474.

C.S. Lewis

Morality or duty . . . never yet made a man happy in himself or dear to others.

English Literature in the 16th Century (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1973), 187–88.

John Calvin

It is my happiness that I have served Him who never fails to reward His servants to the full extent of His promise.

Joshua Becker

Not only are my possessions not bringing happiness into my life; even worse, they are actually distracting me from the things that do!

The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own, Waterbrook Press, 2016.

Jared C. Wilson

God doesn’t “just” want you to be happy; he wants you to be holy as he is holy and to find true, lasting joy in him.

The Gospel According to Satan: Eight Lies about God that Sound Like the Truth, Nelson Books, 2020.

C.S. Lewis

Morality or duty . . . never yet made a man happy in himself or dear to others.

English Literature in the 16th Century (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1973), 187–88.

David Myers

When sailing on the Titanic, even first class cannot get you where you want to go.

Robert Frost

Happiness makes up in height what it lacks in length.

John Templeton

[T]hose persons who are on the leading edge of evolution realize . . . that the greatest happiness in life comes, not from the comforts and pleasures that money can buy, but from the investment of the days of our lives in a purpose which transcends our purely personal interests.

Jean Twenge

Obviously there’s a lot of good things about societal and technological progress, and in a lot of ways our lives are much easier than, say, our grandparents’ or great-grandparents’ lives. But there’s a paradox here that we seem to have so much ease and relative economic prosperity compared to previous centuries, yet there’s this dissatisfaction, there’s this unhappiness, there are these mental health issues in terms of depression and anxiety.

Quoted in Jesse Singal, “For 80 Years, Young Americans Have Been Getting More Anxious and Depressed, and No One Is Quite Sure Why,” The Cut, March 13, 2016.

Brian Fikkert and Kelly M. Kapic

The last ten years, Americans have reported a steady decline in overall life satisfaction, despite the fact that average income per capita increased by 5.5 percent. We got richer, but became less happy.

Becoming Whole: Why the Opposite of Poverty Isn’t the American Dream, Moody Publishers, 2019.

William James

We don’t laugh because we’re happy, we’re happy because we laugh.


Money won’t buy you happiness, but it will pay for the search.

Brian King, M.D.

Let me be clear, nobody is happy all the time. In fact, to be happy all the time is indicative of a disorder.

The Art of Taking It Easy: How to Cope with Bears, Traffic, and the Rest of Life’s Stressors, Apollo Publishers, 2019.

Helen Keller

When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.

We Bereaved

Still Looking for inspiration?

Consider checking out our illustrations page on Happiness. 

Follow us on social media: