In Philippians 4:4, Paul admonishes the believer to “Rejoice in the Lord always.” Then he adds for the avoidance of doubt, “again I say, Rejoice.” It didn’t make much sense to me before, until sometime ago when I became very ill. When I would pray, I would get the ministration to be joyful. The natural inclination at such a time will be to analyze the situation, evaluate treatment options and brood over the pain and discomfort. But I was clearly told to be joyful. Repeatedly. In spite of everything.

As a result, I came up with this motto to remind myself even after that experience to pump up my joy when sadness and darkness descend: I OWE IT TO GOD AND MYSELF TO BE HAPPY ALWAYS. I even composed a short poem on it that goes thus:

I owe it the Lord and me
To be as happy as I can be
So change your looks, you cloudy skies
And let the sun light up my eyes

The cloudy skies and sun are, of course, used metaphorically in the poem to represent the things that depress and the things that cheer.

I owe it to God because He has invested His highest treasure for my sake. Romans 8:32 asks, “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” And although I may not physically have everything I want right now, technically I do because Colossians 2:10 assures me thus: “And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.”

So I owe it to myself to walk in that assurance that I am a child of the Great King of the Universe who loves me unfathomably and who is always with me. In His presence, there is fullness of joy and at His right hand, there are pleasures for evermore, Psalms 16:11 tells me.

I believe a cheerful disposition helps to give us a proper perspective of our situation, such that no matter how grim things look, we can see the almightiness of God, hold on to our faith and persevere till He comes through for us. Besides, doctors say a positive psychological outlook facilitates the recovery of patients.

There are many other things that depress us apart from ill health. Disappointments, bereavement and failure are some of them. But if we understand how important our joy is, we’ll allow God to guide us through every experience such that rather than being totally devastated by negative situations, we will be built and strengthened through them.

So next time a dark cloud descends on you, confess this: I OWE IT TO GOD AND MYSELF TO BE HAPPY. Then take steps to restore your joy. For example, you can listen to music or a sermon, visit a friend, watch a movie, cook something special for yourself or others, find someone in need and help them. What works for you may not work for others and the strategy that works on one occasion may not be effective on another. Prayerfully approach the matter and the right tool for the moment will be impressed on your mind.

I’m keeping my trademark smile no matter what.

For me, music is one of the tools I use. I have playlists on different subjects. One of them is entitled “God 2 me.” It’s a collection of songs, the lyrics of which are abstracted from scriptures where God speaks to His children assuring them of His love, protection etc. or cautioning them. Some Christian bands like Tenth Avenue North operate under a heavy prophetic anointing and have many of such songs. Another playlist is “Promises/Encouragement,” still based on life-giving scriptures that can invigorate even the most despondent soul.

I realise that some of us are going through excruciating difficulties. But no matter what, do not allow the enemy to discredit God in your life by wearing a dour face always. When a Christian is habitually sour, acting as if the weight of the whole world is on his or her shoulders, it brings a reproach to the name of God. There may be times to grieve, seek counsel, wrestle in prayer over our problems and so on. But we should not lose our joy for that joy, which flows from the Lord, is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

Wear a smile, let your laughter ring out and let the world know JEHOVAH is good to you and whatever you need, be it comfort, good health, a job, a spouse or provision, He will provide in good time. Even if He doesn’t take away the problem, He will supply grace that the Bible infers will be sufficient for you (2 Corinthians 12:9). And let the saints say, “Amen.” Our God reigns!!!

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  • Beautiful post, Edith.
    I also believe that in being joyful during unpleasant situations, in addition to rejoicing in the face of adversity being an expression of superior faith and confidence in God, it is also a way of our “lifting our God” higher (as the song goes: Lift Him up higher (2x). My God is good I will life Him up higher. Everywhere I go I will lift Him up higher.
    When we rejoice no matter where life circumstances have taken us, we are lifting Jesus higher everywhere we go.
    God bless you.

  • That’s awesome. He is our Joy. our Joy does not come in anything we possess or not possess but is of the Lord. Thanks for putting smile on so many faces.

    • Edith Ohaja

      Awwww! That is such a beautiful thing to say, Chiamaka. Thank you and all glory to God! You are richly blessed in Jesus’ name.

  • obianuju onyeama

    Yes I strongly agree.. There is nothing as beautiful as always wearing a smile on ur face.

  • chidiogo Georginah

    No wonder the bible told us to rejoice and praise God in every situation as He knows the best

  • onwudiwe

    This is one tool I must walk into 2017 with. Thank you Ma.

  • Asogwa Ruphina

    i just wish so many people in the world would read this nice write up

  • Ebekue

    Such a nice piece. Compliments of the season.

  • Anyaka Osmond Ifeanyi

    I agree with Chiamaka’s comment. God is our joy. This piece you have written teaches a lot. Most especially I have learnt how necessary it is to smile even in times of trouble because when you do so you won’t even know how your troubles will be solved. We should be joyful because our Lord is joyful.
    Like the metaphor used in the post. Also the use of scriptures is wonderful.
    #I will be happy so should everyone.

  • Ahuekwe Chioma

    Now i believe this is for me. I always have mood swings sometimes wen my mood will just change from being happy to being sad without me being able to pinpoint the reason. M so glad i read this now i’ve got scriptures to work with and a playlist to create.
    I agree with you Asogwa Ruphina i wish many people in the world will read this and yes i’m joining your wagon Onwudiwe, i will be working with this tool not just in the coming year but for a lifetime…..SO HELP ME GOD

    • Edith Ohaja

      Amen, Chioma! It’s actually to the Lord’s glory that we are happy as our constant dourness brings a reproach to His name. So I guess if we stretch it some more, it becomes a righteous thing to do and the Bible says that those who hunger and thirst after righteousness shall be filled. There you go! I’ve managed to back the blessing up with Scripture. Therefore, you can’t miss it. Lol, in the spirit of the article! But seriously, I pray the Lord grant your desire in Jesus’ name.

  • Mbadugha Ifeanyi

    There are clearly situations that warrant our being sad and even crying, but we should not remain so because there are plenty reasons to be happy. Our happiness not only make us feel better, it also makes those around us feel good. So next time I am sad I’ll remember that I owe it to God and myself to be happy.Thanks Aunty Edith.

  • Akwolu Chiamaka MaryAnn

    Sometimes we may want to break down and cry. Sometimes we may feel frustrated, but there’s that man who won’t leave us when every other person does. And music is one tool used to arouse Him into doing something.

  • Achebe Winifred

    Yes Chioma I also feel that way most times but even then I find myself smiling at people when I go out even if deep down I know I don’t feel right I guess I have been following Aunty Edith’s words without even knowing. But Stoll I owe it to God to be truly happy not fake smiles anymore thank you ma for making me see that

  • Irumekhai Mariam

    Oh! the joy of the Lord is my strength. though, i used to be someone with a smiling face to the extent that Ifeanyi Mbadugha(my course mate) once teased me that they will give me award of the most smiling face in mass comm dept. until I lost my dad last year (27th of Dec, 2016). i’ve some how allowed my burdens to rob me of my happiness which radiates my beauty. “joy makes one beautiful”. Definitely, i must retrace my steps and pick up my trademark of a smiling and joyful look. thank you ma.

  • Joy

    Oh! Aunty, I think this piece was written for me. I have been going through a lot but I have got a reason to smile. Thank you ma for sharing this piece. God bless you!

  • Onyekaozuru Florence

    I am with Onwudiwe, I would make it my resolution for the year 2017 always to be happy and rejoice come what may, I think you ma have always kept this as your tool as every class with you has no dull moment, you are always cheerful and always want us to be too, I love this piece and I promise to share this information with those around me,so that they know that we owe it to our creator to be happy ……

  • Chike Chiemela Elizabeth

    Exactly! Nothing has the right to deny me of my joy nothing even me. I am so glad Jesus paid the price for my everything including my joy.
    Sadness or depression is an evil spirit which should not be given an opportunity in our lives.
    Thanks for the reminder ma’am.

  • “I owe it to God to be happy because he has invested his highest treasure for my sake”. These lines have really stuck with me. I do hope they stick with as many as who will happen on this post. As children of the most high, we ought to be happy even when we are faced with the difficulties and foibles of life. Reason being that God is all- knowing. He wields supreme authority over all situations. He knows when things are good as well as when they are bad. He can be relied upon. And so, we must learn to be happy at all times. It stands us out from unbelievers.

  • Chidi Sunday

    God bless you, Madam.
    This is a timely gift.
    More grace as you lift peoples hearts and uplift the name of Jesus.
    Can I copy it and send to a hurting friend?

    • Edith Ohaja

      If you are using Opera Mini, you can copy the link and send so the person can browse related articles but if they haven’t the facility to do so, yeah, go ahead. You are blessed!

  • Amadi Chibuzor .J

    I get sad, I get angry, I think too much about nothing at all and everything. The only thing that stops me from doing something stupid, that brings sanity and happiness back to me is either playing football, watching movies and listening to music.

    • Edith Ohaja

      Well, you have good hobbies that can keep you happy. You could also become born again so that you hunger to pray. You will feel great after doing so.

  • Kelechi chukwuma

    Putting on a smile..you look so much better when you smile..”Music is one of the tools I use”….that’s my secret.

  • Ugwu patience

    Smile? Hmmm isn’t it difficult to smile in all situation? Even when hunger is “hammering” you? Any way, difficult things can be achieved too so I can smile all the time.

  • emekaobi ijeoma rita

    happiness is the key

    • Edith Ohaja

      Yeah, it makes a lot of difference: in our witness before the Lord (that is how the world sees us and our faith), our fruit, you name it.

  • Ike Faustina Uchechukwu

    Recently something has been bothering me but after reading this, i now know that i owe it to God and myself to be happy always no matter the situation.

  • Obetta Collins Odinakachukwu

    So they say that a minute smile goes a long way in appeasing a raging soul. No matter how dark a condition may be, no matter how difficult a situation may seem to be, do yourself the grace of handling all of it with a happy mind. ’cause a happy soul attracts God’s favour

  • carlielake

    Amen, Aunty Edith! It is such a pleasure to meet you, and reading this post just makes me smile. My word for this year is joy and I will be pinning this to come back to again and again. I also love music and use it to lift my mind up to God and remind me of His love. I have a playlist on my blog that you might enjoy as well. Thanks for such a beautifully encouraging post. Hugs and smiles!

  • Ishiwu Victor Chinonso

    Conditions may seem so bad that it seems you can never get out of it. Don’t forget the Scripture: God can make impossible things possible and is there for when everybody has left you. But, a happy and a believing mind is all that he wants to be your friend. Why frowning, or why raging when you have a God who always wants to see your smile?

  • covenant

    I owe it to God and myself to be happy always. Thank you Aunty…

  • Ugezu Chisolum.

    This has been what God deems us to always do. Despite all odds, be happy. i will always be happy because i owe it all to God, both in good and the trying moments.May his name be praised for this privilege.

  • Ugezu Chisolum.


  • keswet mercy

    we all have sad moments and sorrowful times but allowing it to way us down is not proper…..this piece is quite for those who are going through those kind of sad times. i hope it has helped you

  • Abasibiangake Essienubong

    Thank you for teaching me the essence of wearing a smile. Indeed “I owe it to the Lot and me… To be as happy as I can be!”(I really like these lines)

  • Wow! I now feel so good having read this piece as I took a deep breath of relief after going through it. It’s just as if it was prepared for me. God bless you Aunty, you are such a blessing to people around you.

    • Edith Ohaja

      Glory to God! I’m happy you were blessed by the piece. May nothing ever steal that joy from you in Jesus’ name.

  • Okoye chidi

    Happyness cums frm God, so wori less. God knws wats bst for us. nice one ma

  • Henrietta Okoye

    There’s nothing as good as being cheerful even for a minute it makes the devil mad to see as cheerful.. Happiness is key to long life

  • evans nwawuefe

    Carrying a long face does not solve problems, rather it only increase the weight of the problem.

  • Oluchi Ekeruche

    This is the undisputed truth. I can totally relate.

  • Amos Janet

    Happiness and laughter prolong life. That for sure is an undisputable fact.

    • Afiadigwe Nnedinso Rita

      Thank you Ma for this advice. I realized recently that happiness attracts blessing, because any day I go out unhappy I always meet with different problems or the other, the whole of that day will be filled with bad lucks but when I go out happy, favour will always speak for me. So from today, I confess it that I will be happy and I owe it to my self and God to be happy. And am also keeping my trademark, I will smile no matter what happens.

  • Benjamin C.Nweke

    we all should try and be happy.
    being sad has never solved any problem, it rather escalates d problem.
    don’t worry, be happy, you owe it to yourself.


    YES! I choose to be happy too. No matter what comes our way, the joy of the lord should always be our strength because the Bible said that “we should cast all our cares upon Him, because he cares for us”
    Aunty Edith, thank you for always making my day!


    Indeed, In the presence of the lord, there is fullness of joy and at His right hand, there are pleasures for evermore. One thing i know is that God speaks to his children through his word. My mother told me that, if I communicate to God through prayers, he will communicate to me through his words.

  • Victoria Nonike

    Aunt Edith is one of the few people who inspires me to smile. I adore your cheerful nature, since I met you ma, i have never seen you moody. Good one ma! I love it.

  • Njoku Chimamaka Elizabeth

    We truly owe it to God to be happy. Whenever am sad I remember those going through worst situations than me and I just give praise to God for my life because anything short of that would be a huge sin of ingratitude on my part. Nice one!

  • Abugu Chinazom

    Nothing really, should prevent us from staying happy always. NOTHING! not even unpleasant situations, or moments of trial. If we have God, we should never have any reason to worry.
    Nice piece ma.

  • Amarachi Deborah Ugwu

    it doesnt just ease one of his/her worries, it adds a life span to an already dieing soul. Smile is an outfit everybody must put on, everytime and everywhere, happiness is the medicine to a sick soul. I concur

  • onyema chinonyelum cynthia

    in life we just need to be happy and free, if not we loose ourselves and whom God wants us to be- and most people will not care cos its your life, your problem and not theirs.

  • Joseph Edidiong

    Happiness is found within. Happiness is created through the one who lives inside of men. God Is the source of true happiness.

  • Ozoguejiofor Uche Jacinta

    Being happy is a choice and we must always choose it. It not only brigthens your world, it also makes life worth the while and increases longetivity.

  • Anyadubalu Oluchi Maryrose

    I owe my God and myself to be happy as far as i live.

  • Edeh Cynthia oluomachi

    We all need to be happy because happy people are more productive,the world needs more happy people,we need to be happy because there are people out there who loves and depen on us,we are alive and we ought to be happy, most importantly happiness makes u look younger and healthier.

  • Asadu Ikechukwu Valentine

    Happiness is the greatest cure for any ailment. Happiness reduces blood pressure, thereby increasing lifespan. That is why it is said that a happy man is a healthy man.

  • Ibe Chinwe Cynthia

    Happiness is of great essence in a person’s life. It yields positivity, productivity becomes possible. It has a relieving effect on a person as opposed to being grumpy or angry. It symbolizes that a person has inner peace. We owe it to ourselves to be happy always. Yes, we do!

  • Anazodo Helen

    No one feels blessed than someone that is always happy, i will never foget to always put on a smiling face, thanks ma for this.

  • Egbo Rita Somtochukwu

    We should learn to always be happy both in trials and tribulations because it shows that we have conquered every situation that comes our way through Christ Jesus. Thanks Ma for this inspirational thought…

  • Onwusonye promise

    Happiness forces a sad heart to smile. Since God is everything for us and He is always with us, we should have joy because He told us to be of good cheer.

    • Chidebe uchechukwu cyprain

      This write up just reminded me that, there is nothing as significant as being happy and grateful to God for whom you are. No matter what we think we are lacking, we should always be contented and full of Thanksgiving because our Redeemer liveth..
      Praise the lord…Hallelujah

  • Dike Gerald Osinachi

    When other things are not, your smile is always there. “With joy, you will draw water from the well if salvation”. God proffered these words to tell us that happiness is a virtue to embrace. With it, we show the goodness of God.

  • Happiness is not all about having every single thing we need in our life. You are alive. You are healthy. You can eat. You breathe well. What more do you need. Be happy for the little you have. Many want to be in your position.

  • Nwele Euphemia Uzoamaka

    I’ve noticed that most times when you are joyful in unpleasant situations, they become pleasant in no time. Beautiful !

  • Ewurum john

    Nice piece ma, the fact that life surely comes to a period when it will throw lemons at us shouldn’t be the reason for us to relent. We have every reason to smile as our protector and ochestrator of everything is Jesus.

  • Nwankwo Amanda

    This is a beautiful poem, may we always be happy nor matter the circumstances in Jesus name (Amen)

  • judith

    Above all happiness is the key, it gives you this warmth that all the possessions of this world can’t offer.

  • Amana Sharon Umola

    I owe my world Smiles everyday. It doesn’t matter the situation I find myself. I must be happy.

  • No matter the situation we find ourselves in, we should be happy and give thanks to God amen

  • Ezeh chimezie

    I have always asked myself many times “why shouldn’t I be happy when am the son of Almighty God?” He gives me all I need not all I want.

  • Oshana Oyaku Endurance

    If we read the bible, we will discover that when Paul wrote this letter to his brethren asking them to rejoice, he was in prison yet in his letter he asked them to rejoice and even emphasized it saying ” again I say unto you rejoice”. No mater the tribulation or trial we are facing, we shouldn’t loose our trust or faith in God cause he is the vindicator of the righteous and the help to the feeble. Most importantly, HE IS THE JOY OF OUR SALVATION

  • Afiadigwe Nnedinso Rita

    God has a way of surprising his children in the time of need.If all daughter in-laws are like Nneoma,then there won’t be any problem in some families.
    It is an interesting story ma.

  • Afiadigwe Nnedinso Rita

    Happiness means a lot in human life.
    Therefore I must be happy no matter what.
    Nice post ma.

  • Onoyima jane

    Find out where joy resides and give it a voice far beyond singing. For to miss the joy is to miss all.

  • Always be happy no matter what you are going through in life, have faith and trust in God nothing is impossible for him to do, he will see you through. Thank you ma for this inspirational post

  • Eze martins Tochukwu

    Thank you ma for this beautiful poem, we should be happy not because we don’t have problems but because we are told by God to rejoice. Having a smiling face reduce the weight of the problem by half and also give you the hope that you will overcome, that is it boost your confidence to go out and face the problems.

  • Ikwuakam Oluchi Francisca

    You know, I have found out that most times being happy even when situations of life does not give room for it has a way of lifting one’s soul amidst the problems. Be happy always and your life will radiate beauty. Yes, it’s very difficult to remain happy when things are not rosy but it pays to remain happy especially as a believer.

  • Onah Joy Chimdalu

    When a dark cloud descends on you, be happy, it weakens the devil.


    With grace, we lift up the joy in our heart and sing praises unto our beautiful, loving and merciful God. I’m glad towards this poem.

  • Okorie Adaora N.

    We should always be happy no matter what we go through in life because God knows our problems and he cannot forsake his own people. Happiness also draws breakthrough and blessings. Keep smiling and be happy because God will definitely come through for us. You may not know how or when but he will put extra smiles on your face.

  • Happiness is free… And its a choice too.. So choose happiness amidst difficulties and pain… And let your joy be in the Lord..

  • Richards Orighomisan

    Really ohhh, happiness is a choice, if you are finding it difficult to be happy try resting in the Holy spirit, He is the spirit of Joy.

  • Ejiofor Emmanuel

    No matter the problem or sickness, do not allow the devil to take away that your smile.

  • Anekwe Paschaline Chidera

    It’s sure a good thing to always try to keep a smile and be happy but it is not always easy to achieve. It takes great effort and faith in God to do that which is why we should always run to him in prayer during adversities. Thank you Ma for the wonderful words

  • Odey-Oko Victor

    I owe it the Lord and me
    To be as happy as I can be
    So change your looks, you cloudy skies
    And let the sun light up my eyes.
    This lines just made me happy, thanks for sharing

  • Odiase Osazee Erico

    It is wonderful to see how you have found a way to remind yourself to choose joy, even in difficult times. It is true that as believers, we owe it to God and ourselves to be happy and joyful. As you mentioned, God has invested His highest treasure, His own Son, for our sake, and we are complete in Him.

  • Odiase Osazee Erico

    It is wonderful to chose joy over sadness, even in difficult times. It is true that as believers, we owe it to God and ourselves to be happy and joyful.

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