Happiness is a choice. It’s the truth. You’re as happy as you want to be. You create the happiness in your life. But creating Happy Habits can be difficult if not nurtured and practiced regularly. Have you heard anyone say to you that to cultivate a good habit you must act as you desire for 21 continuous days? Then the brain releases something that will enable you to act in accordance with the good habit. Let me tell you something. I have a hard time completing one day let alone looking ahead for 21 days.
Have any of you read the Serenity Prayer? Let me give you a little history lesson on this powerful prayer.
The Serenity Prayer was written by an American Theologian Reinhold Niebuhr.
Several versions of this prayer were written in the 1930s. The earliest printed reference of the prayer was in 1936. Various authors cited Niebuhr as the source of the prayer in 1937 and it was included in the Federal Council of Churches publication for Army chaplains and servicemen in 1944. The prayer is more widely known after being brought to the attention of Alcoholics Anonymous in 1941. The AA co-founder and staff liked the prayer and had passed a modified form around.
Toward the end of the prayer it says this:
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.
Is this not a statement of Happiness? These words are steps to Habits of Happiness.
But sometimes we let things get in our way. Things like Pain, Picky People (yes I said it), Pressure, and Problems. The “4 P’s”. The Bible talks about this in the book of Philippians, Chapter 1, verses 12-30. Wow! The very first chapter of the letter to the Philippians. Pretty important I think. If we look at what the Apostle Paul wrote and how he lived, we have an example of how to be happy no matter what.
So it’s necessary to create habits to be Happy. You might want to consider these:
- I can be happy no matter what happens in my life if I look at every problem from God’s viewpoint. No matter what is happening in your life, God is at work.
- I can be happy no matter what happens in my life if I never let others control my attitude. There will always be critics. And often times, we’re seeking their approval. But remember the choice… will you listen to their voice or not? Now you may have people in your life that truly love you and want to ensure you’re walking in the direction God has for you. They keep you on the narrow path. I’m talking about critics that like to hear themselves talk. I’m not being critical, but when this happens, I believe God is opening a great opportunity to respond in love. Sometimes though, you just have to let them go and move on.
- I can be happy no matter what happens in my life if I always trust God to work things out. That is what the Serenity Prayer is founded on. Trusting God to work things out.
- I can be happy no matter what happens in my life if I stay focused on my purpose, not my problem. God has a purpose for your life that was established for you before time began. The Apostle Paul is a great example. His purpose was to preach the Good News to the world. In Philippians Chapter 1, verses 21-26 it says,” For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.”
The Apostle Paul sums up his purpose in verse 21. What is our purpose? What Habits for Happiness are we using to ensure that we can be Happy No Matter What?
Friends, living a life full of happiness is transforming in so many ways. As you create Happy Habits you will begin to enjoy one moment at a time. You will trust God that He will make all things right. As you surrender your will to Him, you will be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him in the next.
God bless you and have a week of great happiness.