'For the Lord disciplines those he loves and scourges every son he receives' Hebrews 12:6.
'Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline' Revelation 3:19
There is the idea that once you adopt a spiritual perspective your life will improve and you will be happier and more fulfilled, maybe even eventually reaching some kind of enlightened state in this world. This is a dangerous illusion that can lead to individuals abandoning the path or taking to it for the wrong reasons and therefore making no progress.
For the fact is that the spiritual path has to do with purging the sinner of his sins or stripping the ego of its egotism, and this is not a pleasant process. You might consider that if you are happier in your outer self as a result of adopting a spiritual mode of being or 'lifestyle' you could very well be on the wrong track completely. For spirituality is not a therapy designed to make you feel better. It is a way of transformation that requires, as any transformation from one state to another must, sacrifice and renunciation, and sacrifice and renunciation are not made without suffering.
Beliefs adopted from New Age or Eastern sources tend to obscure the fact that this world is a training ground for the next. Consequently happiness in this world is not the goal of the spiritual life. That remains, as it is in traditional Christianity, to make one fit for the true life in a higher world. The rewards of the spiritual life are in the next life not this one which is an arena for purification and testing which goes on until death, particularly in the more advanced cases as one can plainly see in the lives of the saints.
Certainly saints are often marked out by their attitude of joy and cheerfulness. No one likes a miserable saint. But this is because of their acceptance of God's will. It is not because they are happy on a personal level. Indeed, one often finds that the live of saints are full of personal hardship and suffering. Their love of God and spiritual dedication does not lead to rewards so much as trials and tribulations.
This might seem a rather inappropriate post for the Christmas period but forgive me if I seek to strip away the fake joy that goes with a modern irreligious Christmas. Christmas is about truth, and the greater truth that exists beyond the transient joys of this world. We can only be fit for that truth when the falsehood within ourselves is stripped away, and that does require the discipline mentioned in the opening quotations from scripture.
So I hope you had a happy Christmas. But if you didn't particularly enjoy yourself you might comfort yourself with the thought that God chastises those whom he loves. But the only reason he does so is that they may turn more and more to him since it is only in him that our true and lasting happiness lies.
Real happiness lies not in pleasure and enjoyment but listening to the word of God and doing his will.