One of my friends was having a struggle once. When she described her struggle to me, she described what she considered her two "choices" to me. The first one satisfied her desires, but it would mean disobeying God. The second one obeyed God but would leave her miserable (as she described it). When I asked her if she believed God's Word was true, she said yes. I gently pointed out that since she believed that, she really only had one choice. Her response was that she did believe that God's Word is true, but she also firmly believed that God would not want her to make a choice that would make her unhappy.
I wanted to scream at that point.
Beyond the fact that her unhappiness was being caused by wrong choices and attitudes she was already making, I don't see anywhere in the Bible where it says that God cares one iota about your happiness. I know that sounds like a harsh statement, so allow me to clarify a little bit. By "not caring", I mean that when God (who is all-knowing, all-wise, and all-powerful) decides how He is going to arrange the circumstances in your life, your happiness is not a factor in His decisions. God's goal is not for you to be happy. Nor should it be our goal either.
"Happiness" is a pretty vague word. Often, "happiness" is used interchangeably with "joy", although the two mean very different things. Happiness is an emotion, while joy is a character quality. Anything can give us happiness, but only pursuing God can give us true joy.
When God arranges circumstances in our lives, what does He take into account? To answer that, we must ask, what is His goal?
Christians today, especially American Christians, have gotten the wrong view that God's goal is to make humans happy. That God is some sort of "genie in a bottle" to grant us our wishes and make us comfortable. Nothing could be further from the truth.
God's goal is, simply put, to bring glory to Himself. He is the true center of the universe.
Now, what does that mean for us? What is God's goal for us? (Us=Christians). The answer is found in Romans 8:29:
For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Do you see it? God's plan for us is that we be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. God gives us opportunities to develop Christlike character qualities. Sometimes (dare I say, oftentimes), that means that God arranges circumstances that will actually make us unhappy and uncomfortable.
However, if we take those opportunities to develop Christlike character, we will develop joy, which is superior to happiness. As I said, happiness is an emotion. Thus it is fleeting. Joy, on the other hand, is a character quality, and thus is constant.
I firmly believe that we should not pursue happiness. Instead, we should obey God and seek to glorify Him, and in the process we will develop joy.
We also should not expect God to care about our happiness. When we realize that God's goal for us is not our happiness, but our conformity to Christ, making the right choice in situations like the one my friend was going through suddently become a whole lot easier.