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Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 3:8-12
Are You Happy?
1. Are you happy? How are you defining happiness in your life?
a. World’s definition: Fame, fortune, glory, etc.; self-satisfaction.
b. We must not confuse the pleasures of sin with genuine happiness; sin destroys happiness, Prov. 13:15.
c. God’s definition contains faith, moral purity and service to God and others, 1 Pet. 3:10-12 (Matt. 5:3-12). (Blessed, 1 Pet 3:9)
2. God wants our happiness as He defines it, Eccl. 3:12-13; 9:7-9.
3. Jesus is our way out of unhappiness and despair, Jno. 16:22, 33.
I. UNDERSTANDING HAPPINESS (Joy of Life).
A. Happiness: A State of Mind, an Attitude of Heart (Prov. 23:7).
1. “...having, showing, or causing a feeling of pleasure, joy, etc.; glad,” Webster.
2. Happiness/joy is an attitude of heart; not just an emotion.
3. Christians are happy (blessed) people even in the midst of sorrow and trials, because our thinking and living should be set on God (forgiveness of sins, promise of eternal life, hope, pure living…), Jno. 14:1, 27; 16:22; 2 Cor. 6:10.
4. But, faith can weaken; faith’s contentment and trust is tested.
B. To Build a Happy/Joyful Life, Build Faith in God.
1. Set your hope on God, Heb. 13:5-6.
2. Happiness is learned by trusting God, Phil. 4:10-13.
3. Count your blessings, Eph. 1:3 (Phil. 4:4).
II. THINGS OF EARTH DO NOT GIVE LASTING HAPPINESS, Eccl. 2:3 (1:13). (Each has its place, but none bring ultimate satisfaction.)
A. "Life's a Party" (pleasure), Eccl. 2:1-2.
1. Even laughter may contain sorrow, Prov. 14:13.
2. Pleasure does not last; therefore, it cannot ultimately fulfill, Heb. 11:25; Lk. 12:19.
3. Tends toward failing to properly assessing life and the future, Eccl. 7:2-4.
B. "The One with the Most Toys, Wins!" (material possessions), Eccl. 2:8-11 (Lk. 12:15-21).
1. Tends to isolate and make one suspicious of others, 4:7-8.
2. No satisfaction to lover of money – Increased anxieties, 5:10-11 (1 Tim. 6:10).
3. Great possessions, yet great sorrow, Matt. 19:21-22.
C. "I've Got it all Figured Out!" (wisdom), Eccl. 2:12-17.
("He who knows all the answers has not been asked all the questions." -Confucius)
1. While better than foolishness, to trust in one’s wisdom is foolish, 2:13; 1 Cor. 3:18. (pride)
2. Death still comes; Human wisdom doesn’t save us, 2:14.
3. Divine wisdom needed, 8:16-17; 1 Cor. 1:21.
D. "See What I have Done!" (labor), Eccl. 2:18-23.
1. Whose shall they be? 2:18-19 (Lk. 12:20)
2. Elements of despair, 2:20. Its fruit does not last, 5:13-17.
3. Work is good, but it is not our source of ultimate happiness, 1 Ths. 4:11-12. (Not an escape from life!)
4. Don’t let your work consume you, or you will regret it.
E. "I've Finally Made it!" (success), Eccl. 4:4-6.
1. Often envied by others, 4:4. (Define success correctly!)
2. While trying to be successful we must learn to be content with what our labor provides, 1 Tim. 6:6-8.
F. "When I Do/Get that, I'll be Happy!" (fulfilling desires), Eccl. 6:7-9
1. When our desire rules us we are never satisfied.
2. “Bird in the hand worth two in the bush.”
3. Desires must be godly; controlled by contentment, Phil. 4:11-13 (sufficiency, enough).
III. THINGS WE MUST HAVE TO HAVE A HAPPY LIFE.
A. Fear God and Obey Him, Eccl. 12:13 (Acts 10:34-35).
B. Remove Your Sins in God’s Way (Acts 2:41-42; 8:22).
1. Sin destroys happiness by destroying one’s relationship with God (the source of joy).
2. Despair of sin turned into joy of salvation, Acts 16:27, 34.
C. Seek First the Things of God, Matt. 6:33 (1 Pet. 3:10-12).
D. Pray Often, 1 Jno. 5:14 (Confidence and power, Phil. 4:4-7).
E. Count Your Blessings, 1 Tim. 6:7-8.
-Measure the good things in life and rejoice in them.
F. Patient Faith (“wait on the Lord”), Isa. 40:27-31. Always trust God – He always cares for you, 1 Pet. 5:7; Heb. 13:5-6.
God wants you to be happy as you live for heaven. Be happy by obeying God and trusting Him in all things; walk with God, Psa. 128.