“Being Happy” is the second attitude in this series as we reflect on 5 Attitudes every Christian should have.
Read 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Three things come out of the above piece of Scripture:
- Rejoice: be happy
- Pray without ceasing. Prayer is the second element in this passage, which implies that happiness is a spiritual matter.
- Give thanks in all circumstances: gratitude, appreciation
So, what does all this mean for us today?
Before talking about happiness in more depth, let me say that this attitude isn’t just a feeling. It’s not either a result of a good experience. Happiness is more than that.
Just as we previously talked about the first attitude, humility, happiness is also a choice we’ve got to make.
Happiness, being a personal choice, makes it also something that has to do with our inner being.
“Who God is” is the source of our happiness
Let’s start with this question: Who is God?
Read John 14: 8-11,
Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you, I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.
The key point here is not only the fact of seeing but believing.
Jesus says to the disciples: “Believe in God, also believe in me.” (John 14)
And, here is how we could define faith, based on the Bible:
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11: 1, ESV)
The source of our happiness comes out of God being the Lord of all.
First, God has judged the ruler of the world.
Read John 16: 5-15.
The disciples will experience opposition. We will all experience it in one way or another. It may be spiritual, physical, emotional, financial, etc.
The good news is what Jesus is sharing with the disciples in chapter 16: He has judged the ruler of the world. This being represents anything that destroys your true happiness.
Second, our joy is made complete by praying to the Father in the name of Jesus.
Read John 16: 23-24,
In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that you joy may be full. ESV.
Lastly, Jesus has conquered the world. He has already won our battle.
We are on a battlefield fighting a battle that Jesus has already won. It is like a replay of our lives. God already knows the outcome. We know it too. We are more than conquerors through faith in Christ. He’s our champion.
What God gives us is the source of happiness
Out of faith, which consists of believing in Christ and receiving Him into our lives as a personal Lord and Savior, God makes us God’s children (John 1: 12).
In Romans 11, Paul refers to us as wild branches God grafts to the vine that is Jesus Christ. Jesus also talks about Himself as the true Vine (John 15).
What we become, as a result, is the source of our happiness.
Because we are a part of the vine, God’s family, our lives are changed. We can now bear fruit.
Read Galatians 5:22, “but the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.”
Two things that happiness does in your life
First, happiness empowers you to face anything in life
You first experience the other fruit of the Spirit: love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness. Read Galatians 5: 22.
Then, happiness empowers you to face uncertainty in life.
Have you ever heard of the Beatitudes?
You read about them in Matthew 5 and Luke 6. Some versions use the word, “Blessed …” while others use “Happy …”
In Luke 6: 20-23 (CEB), Jesus says: “Rejoice when that happens! Leap for joy because you have a great reward in heaven.”
Second, happiness deepens your spirituality
In John 16: 24, Jesus says: “ask, and you will receive so that your joy will be complete.”
The pursuit of happiness through faith in Jesus Christ is an expression of the need for God in our lives.
The desire to be happy, when expressed through faith in Jesus Christ, leads to a deeper spiritual life.
Here’s what you should do in your everyday living about happiness
- Choose to be happy
- Being happy is a choice you’ve got to make every day.
- Avoid anything that may steal your joy from you.
- Focus on what makes you happy.
- Be grateful. Show gratitude for all what you have, what you don’t have: people, stuff, etc.
- Connect with God
- Do it through prayer. Prayer keeps us humble and at the feet of Jesus Christ.
- Belong to a healthy community (small or covenant group).
- Serve others. Find ways that can help you be of some service to somebody, at least once a week.
Bringing it together
Your happiness does not have to depend on anything or anyone. It’s a choice you’ve got to make every day. Your happiness comes out of your faith in God.