Monday, September 8, 2008

Devotional: The Incredible Habits Of Happy People

There will always be opportunities and moments in life where we may face trouble, circumstances, set-backs, attacks, and even opportunities to be depressed, sad and lonely. In all of those moments, we have the choice to yield to the feelings or yield and submit to God's Word and His joy and victory for our daily lives.  

Check out what the Word of God says in the following verses:

Acts 2:28 (NKJV), "You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of joy in Your presence." The Message Bible reads, "You've got my feet on the life-path, with your face shining sun-joy all around."

Psalm 144:15 reads, "Happy are the people who are in such a state; Happy are the people whose God is the Lord!" The Message Bible says,"How blessed the people who have all this! How blessed the people who have God for God!"   The New Living Bible reads, "Yes, happy are those who have it like this! Happy indeed are those whose God is the LORD."

Psalm 146:5 says, "Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, Whose hope is in the Lord his God."   The Message Bible reads,"Instead, get help from the God of Jacob, put your hope in God and know real blessing!"Wow! The real deal when it comes to happiness is found in Him Who we serve!

Proverbs 10:28 says, "The hope of the righteous will be gladness, But the expectation of the wicked will perish."

Psalm 34:8 says, "Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!"

To be happy and enjoy life is the way that our God intends for us to walk. God wants you and me to enjoy life and be happy.   That does not mean that you won't have tough times, attacks, or trials, but we must be settled on the inside with the source of our joy and happiness in all things regarding this life in which we live! True contentment is found in abiding in Him!

Let me give you what I want to call, "The Incredible Habits of Happy People." You and I can take the time to develop and master these habits in our daily lives.   In doing so, you will find that these incredible habits will cause you to KEEP your joy through the toughest of times and in the darkest moments of life.

1. Happy People Think & Ponder On God's Word.   How simple is that? Yet it is truly the one thing that we don't go to first! We, without thinking about it, yield to our bad feelings and emotions first before we decide, "Oh, what does the Word say?" On a regular basis, reading and meditation of the Word of God will ENERGIZE YOUR JOY! Just like the "energizer bunny" you will keep going and going and going!   Psalm 104:34 says, "May my meditation be sweet to Him; I will be glad in the Lord."   Psalm 119:105 says, "Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path."

Jesus told us this fact in John 17:13: "but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them."   What He said is what matters and it is what will cause you to have what I like to call "full joy" within yourself! Again, happy people think and ponder the Word of God FIRST.

2. Happy People Regularly Commune With The Lord. From the word, "communicate" we get the word "communion". Communion is another way to say fellowship. Just as you need friends, you need time with God.   Proverbs 16:20 says, "He who heeds the word wisely will find good, And whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he." Spend time with the Lord, worship and praise Him and roll your cares over onto Him. Let it go! Quit camping with your bad feelings and emotions! First Peter 5:7 says, "Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you." (NLT)

3. Happy People Have Vision! Proverbs 13:19 says, "A desire accomplished is sweet to the soul." Psalm 37:4 says, "Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart."   It is important to have vision for your life.   We need to have the ability to see past the here and now, but we use today, the here and now,   to build that tomorrow!   Setting goals propels you to tomorrow. Follow your giftings that God has placed in your life and take the steps to grow and mature to get to your tomorrows.   Ecclesiastes 6:9 says, "Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of desire." There are a lot of believers who do more "wandering" than staying focused and on course. Consistency of the Word is the key to greatness and fulfillment of His plan for our lives.  

Philippians 3:14 says, "I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."   I can remember when we were building a house and I was showing a friend of ours what room was what as we walked through the open walls. They were excited about it and I was too. But as we were walking through I said, "in our next house we will have..." He laughed out loud and said, "You never cease to amaze me on how you can see past now."   Step by step let's grow in God! Have vision!

4. Happy People Sing Out Loud!   Isaiah 65:14 says, "My servant shall sing for joy of heart."Psalm 95:1 says, "Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation."   Maybe you cannot sing too well and you feel like you just don't sound good. Maybe people have told you, "Please stop singing you're killing us!"   LOL!   That does not matter at all! You ought to sing and worship God every chance you get. I sing when I mow the grass, I sing in the car, I hum and whistle walking through stores. In doing so, it helps me to stay full of joy. Find songs that inspire you and worship songs that drive you into His presence!  

5. Happy People Are Always Attending Church!  Hebrews 10:25 tells us, "not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching." (The Message Bible)   You need to be in church!   It is vital that you stay hooked up to good friends, people of strong character, and a strong pastor who will help you to stay on track to hit the mark!   If you have children, the attitude and consistency that you have in church attendance will work like seeds in your kids and will produce a crop one day.   As a parent you want to plant the seeds that produce good fruit for the future. That future starts with you and your heart. Be in church!   

6. Happy People Have Firm Internal Anchors!   God gave us His Son, His Word and His Holy Spirit - His anchors that hold us firm!   His Word is our source for comfort and clear direction as to what is His will. Internal anchors, anchored on the truth of His Word, are what keep us settled and content and not up and down, constantly looking for a feeling to justify and qualify our daily walk!   Second Corinthians 5:7 says, "For we walk by faith, not by sight."   The Amplified Bible reads, "For we walk by faith [we regulate our lives and conduct ourselves by our conviction or belief respecting man's relationship to God and divine things, with trust and holy fervor; thus we walk] not by sight or appearance."  

There's a song that talks about Jesus being our ROCK.   It says, "Let the lightning flash, let the thunder roll and roll and roll.   It don't matter.   It will be alright because Jesus is the Rock!"   Jesus had internal anchors that kept Him on track to the cross so that we could be seated with Him as we are now. What are your "internal anchors"?

7. Happy People Are Turn Around Specialists!   When Jairus's daughter was sick, Jairus went to Jesus.   As Jesus was heading to minister to his daughter, the woman with the issue of blood stopped Jesus because she got healed.   As all of this was going on, Jairus was told that his daughter was dead. But Jesus was the turn around specialist!   He looked at Jairus and said, "She's just sleeping." Glory!   Jesus was the turn around specialist! First John 4:4 says, "You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world."   You and I have the Greater One living big within us! We have the power to turn things around! With Jesus being the "Greater One" in us then we should be experts at being turn around specialists! Amen!

There you have it. Develop these habits in your life and your joy will expand and demolish your darkest hours! Your contentment and happiness are found in abiding in HIM! Proverbs 16:20 says this, "He who deals wisely and heeds [God's] word and counsel shall find good, and whoever leans on, trusts in, and is confident in the Lord - happy, blessed, and fortunate is he." (The Amplified Bible) AMEN!

Prayer: Father, You alone are my counsel, my peace, and my joy.   My true happiness is found in You.   I choose to yield to and abide in You at all times and in every situation. In Jesus' Name! Amen.