I WANT TO BE HAPPY!
1. Happiness in this life is the ultimate goal of most people (without faith in God, that is their entire knowledge & focus).
2. The world defines happiness in worldly terms (fame, fortune & glory) will never achieve lasting happiness because it is focused upon temporal things - cf. Eccl. 1:14.
3. God defines happiness - 1 Pet. 3:8-12 (inherit a blessing). Our goal.
4. When Christians try to be happy according to the world's definition, we will be distracted from our eternal goal, falter in our faith & finally lose our soul - Matt. 6:19-21.
5. We must appreciate what true happiness is & avoid the world's counterfeit version of true happiness.
I. HAPPINESS IS A STATE OF MIND - Prov. 23:7 (attitude of heart).
"...having, showing, or causing a feeling of pleasure, joy, etc.; glad" (Webster).
A. Happiness Includes Joy & Gladness.
1. Salvation - cf. Deut. 33:29; Jno. 14:1; 16:22, 33.
2. Relationship with God - Psa. 144:15; 146:5.
3. The Christian should be the happiest person on earth because his thinking & heart should be right (forgiveness of sins, One in whom to trust, promise of eternal life, hope, ....).
a. Some say Christians are not happy people.
b. Because they misunderstand / incorrectly define happiness. (Sometimes, we do, too!)
4. Please note: Happy people do not only & always experience pleasant things in life - cf. 2 Cor. 11:23-28; 12:7-10.
5. But, some do not have strong faith (its contentment, trust) - Lk. 17:5.
B. Happiness Includes Fulfillment.
1. From family - Psa. 127:3-5.
2. From labor - Psa. 128:2.
3. From wisdom - Prov. 3:13, 18.
4. From showing mercy & kindness - Prov. 14:21.
5. From trusting the Lord (obeying God) - Prov. 16:20.
6. From reverence for God - Prov. 28:14.
7. From honoring & obeying God's law - Prov. 29:18 (cf. 13:13).
8. From fearing God & obeying Him - Psa 128:1.
C. Happiness Includes Contentment - Phil. 4:4-7. (Christian's happiness is a calm assurance of the present & future instead of a fretful anxiety - Matt. 6:34).
1. Learn contentment by increasing faith (trust) in God - 4:10-13; Rom. 8:35-39.
2. By counting your blessings & being thankful - Eph. 1:3.
3. By keeping proper priorities in your life:
a. Know & live what is truly & eternally important - cf. Heb. 13:5-6; Matt. 6:33-34 (cf. Lk. 12:19-21).
b. To be content in life we must eliminate "this world" thinking with its treasures, & lay up heavenly treasures! - Matt. 6:19-21; 1 Tim. 6:7-8
c. Matt. 5:3-12 - This is seeking first the kingdom - Great happiness & contentment!
4. By being careful to train your conscience in truth, & follow it - Rom. 14:22.
II. BUILD YOUR FAITH IN GOD TO BUILD A HAPPY LIFE FOR YOURSELF.
A. Set Your Hope On God - Heb. 13:5-6.
1. God is sure, certain, dependable, will never let you down - 1 Pet. 5:7.
2. Live in the Christian hope of you eternal home! Think on heaven! - 1 Pet. 1:3-6 ("greatly rejoice" though presently distressed, v. 6).
B. Deal With Your Sin In God's Way.
1. Sin always & certainly brings sadness, not joy - Rom. 6:23.
2. The sinner who is saved can "go on his way rejoicing"! - Acts 8:39; 16:34
3. Repent & obey the gospel - The joy of Christ will be yours! - Jno. 16:22, 33 (In Christ, your faith overcomes the world! - 1 Jno. 5:4)
C. Fear God & Keep His Commandments - Eccl. 12:13-14.
-We are often unhappy because we fear the wrong things & do not follow the right things! (Matt. 10:28)
1. Our source of happiness must be the Lord, not ourselves!
28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. 29 He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. 30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, 31 But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. (Isa. 40:28-31)
2. When our faith is secured in God, we will have the happiness to live life - knowing our true happiness comes from walking with God! - Psa. 128