Everyone wants to be happy, but many look for that happiness outside of themselves; as if it is something that can be delivered to them, or provided for them; something that they will find from their situation or the people in their lives. In reality, happiness is a choice each of us make. You can choose to be happy, or you can choose to be unhappy. There is nothing and no one that can make you happy. Happiness, contentment, joy—they come from God, and they come from within.
How do you make this choice? You must choose to dwell on the good things, and let go of the bad.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
You can choose to be happy, or you can choose to worry, fret, and stew over every problem in your life. Nothing destroys happiness like worry. Worry is the most counterproductive thing you can do.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Present your problems to God, and then leave them there. Don’t try to take them back by worrying about them—leave them with Him. Then, while you are dwelling on the good things, begin to count those good things. Purposefully begin to number the many blessings that have come your way. The traditional hymn, “Count Your Blessings”, says it quite well:
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.”
It is so much easier to remember the bad events. We can keep them in our minds without any effort. To overcome that negative tendency takes a conscience effort of choice on two fronts—don’t dwell on the bad, and remember the good.
When you spend your time thinking about the good things, you won’t have time to think about the bad. Your whole life will take on a much more positive perspective. When you dwell on the good things, you are dwelling on God. When you dwell on God, He will bring you peace. Dwelling on God is praying. Through prayer the answers to the problems will come.