Happiness is an illusive goal. The reality is…you’ll never be happy if the ultimate goal of your life is the pursuit of happiness! People tend to think that having more money, being older, changing location/climate, or having more education will make them happy. However, research reveals that after the initial pleasure of attainment wears off…all of these things fall short of bringing happiness. Two things, religious faith and strong relationships, play a key role in a person’s level of happiness. Being happy is the byproduct of pursuing something else, something bigger…something better!

Scriptures
Phil 1:2-4; Phil 1:5-7; Phil 2:5-7; Acts 16:25; Phil 1:1; Phil 4:4

Verse
Every time I think of you, I thank my God. And whenever I mention you in my prayers, it makes me happy. (Phil 1:3-4)

Thought
The Apostle Paul found happiness in the midst of terrible circumstances. Even while imprisoned, Paul found deep contentment and happiness in his relationship with Jesus Christ and with his friends. Paul’s life had meaning because of his faith and service to Christ and His church. The power of the friendships that developed in the midst of his servanthood brought great contentment to him. Happiness cannot be based on circumstance. A miserable life will result from allowing circumstance to dictate inner happiness. Although suffering can disturb happiness, it does not have the power to stop a life that has meaning and purpose.

Questions
What is happiness to you? Describe a time when you felt happy? Was it a lasting inner happiness or an external and temporary happiness? Do you find happiness in the little things? What brings you down? Do you consider yourself to be a glass half full person or a glass half empty person?

Response
Look for things through the day that bring thankfulness and happiness. Do something for someone and don’t expect anything in return. Put a priority on your relationship with Jesus Christ and on building close relationships with family and friends.

Prayer
Dear God, thank you for what you have given me. Thank you for providing for my needs. Thank you for my relationships. Help me to pursuit the purpose and plan you have for me. May I be a blessing to you and to others. I know that in this I will experience the happiness that only you can bring. I pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.