Saturday, December 17, 2011

Happy? How To Be Happy Every Day Of The Week

Definition of Happiness- according to Webster’s dictionary, it means good fortune, prosperity, a state of well-being & contentment, joy, or a pleasurable or satisfying experience.  
“I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.” Ecclesiastes 3:12 (NIV)

According to the CDC, 1 in 10 americans take anti-depressants, up by more than 400% over the last 20 years!  In a country where the pursuit of happiness is our claim to fame, we don't seem to be very good at finding it.  Abraham Lincoln once said, “Most people are as happy as they’ve decided to be”  Here are a few thoughts from Biblical principles about how you can live a happier life!

1.  GOD MADE US TO BE HAPPY.
To the person who pleases himGod gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness...”.  Ecclesiastes 2:26  (NIV)
“... may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful.”  Psalms 68:3  

God does want us to be happy.  He knows that when we follow His plans and purpose for our lives than we will experience happiness.  Often times people will choose destructive & selfish desires & say things like, "God wants me to be happy doesn't he?"  The answer is yes, but He understands when we choose to live differently (be holy) & follow His ways, happiness follows!

2.  YOU CAN’T BE HAPPY IF YOU ARE PURSUING IT.
"Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product." - Eleanor Roosevelt, Former First Lady
Happiness Myths-  Pastor Kevin Gerald shares 7 myths regarding happiness. They are:
Myth #1-  MONEY Will Make You Happy.  Money only magnifies what's already inside of you.  If you aren't happy today, money won't make you happy tomorrow!
Myth #2-  LEISURE & EASE Will Make Me Happy.  People with positive attitudes & a sense of purpose live, on average, 7 years longer than those who don't.  Many people die soon after retiring because they were making a living versus making a life.
Myth #3-  FAME & PRESTIGE Will Make Me Happy.  Look at the news... enough said.
Myth #4-  MORE POWER Will Make Me Happy.  More power will only give you more to be unhappy about.
Myth #5-  OTHER PEOPLE Will Make Me Happy.  People will let you down if you're always counting on them to life you up.
Myth #6-  GETTING EVEN Will Make You Happy.  We've all won the argument & felt just as cruddy after the fact.
Myth #7-  Being A  CHRISTIAN  Will Make You Happy.  You can be eternally secure & still miserable.  Go hang out with a bunch of saved church people & this one will be self-evident.  

3.  YOU HAVE TO CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY.
Many people stay miserable because they realize that they'll get less attention if they choose to be happy.  Some people would have nothing to say if they weren't complaining!  We all have the incredible power to choose our attitude & our own level of happiness.

Key Thought-  Act your way into a feeling instead of feel your way into an action!
  • All feeling come from your thoughts!  You are the thinker of your thoughts, not God, not the devil, not anyone else. You are the thinker of your thoughts.  Choose to fix your thoughts on the right things (Hebrews 12:2)
  • The key to being happy is this:  Choose The Right Thoughts!  Your thoughts are either ascending or descending.  Fix your thoughts & choose to be happy.  The Apostle Paul said, "... I have learned how to be content with whatever I have."  Philippians 4:11  (*see also Isaiah 55:8, Philippians 4:8, Romans 12:2)  I absolutely love this quote from Bertha Damon, who said, "Getting what you go after is success;  but liking it while you are getting it is happiness."
CLOSING THOUGHT-  Happiness is a CHOICE.  The real question today is, "Do You Want To Be Happy?"  "Why are you downcast, O my soul?  Hope in God."  Psalm 43:5