Have you ever thought of happiness as a choice?
It’s easy to think it is a result of ideal circumstances, getting everything we want, and others behaving the way we’d like them to.
And let’s face it, that would make it very easy to be happy!
But perhaps you know people who have been through tragic circumstances, who did not get what they wanted, and were let down or even betrayed by others. And yet…they are happy. They clearly break the mold of happiness being circumstantial. They show us something entirely different.
Happiness is a choice.
It’s not a feeling but an act of the will.
Need Scriptural proof? Here are a few verses to show that joy/happiness/rejoicing (all synonyms in Scripture) is a choice:
“This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” -Psalm 118:24
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” -Phil. 4:4
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances…” -1 Thes. 5:16-18
This is wonderful news, because it means we are not victims of our circumstances or other people. Despite difficult circumstances and difficult relationships, we can choose to be happy.
You may be thinking, “Well, that sounds great, but how?! I don’t feel happy, so how can I choose to be happy?!” Here’s the game-changing truth for you and me to consider when we don’t feel happy:
Your focus creates your feelings. Change your focus, change your
What we focus on directly impacts how we feel! Do you want to change your feelings? Then change your focus. And there is no better focus than Jesus Christ! When you choose to focus on him, you are choosing to be happy. If we want to be happy, we must make the choice to focus on “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” -Phil. 4:8
How can you change your focus and choose happiness? Here are a few practical ideas:
- Pray Without Ceasing – Talk to God all throughout the day about everything! There is nothing too big or too small to tell Him about in prayer.
- Scripture Meditation & Memory – Meditating on and memorizing Scripture is a wonderful way to change your focus. This is a great way to shift your focus from your problems to the promises of God!
- Journal – Writing out your thoughts and prayers is another way to focus on your blessings. Try recording 3 things for which you are grateful every day for a month and see how your focus and your feelings change!
- Sermons and Podcasts – Listening to online sermons and uplifting podcasts while you are working out, folding laundry, or cleaning bathrooms is a great way to boost your thoughts and brighten your focus.
- Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs – Listening to beautiful music can also be a way to elevate your thoughts and boost your mood. Focusing on the rich lyrics of old hymns or praise songs can work wonders for the discouraged heart.
- Encourage Others – Have you ever noticed when you reach out and encourage others how much better it makes you feel? Next time you’re feeling down, use that as a reminder to focus on someone else. Ask the Lord who needs encouraging in your life, then reach out to them with an encouraging text, call, email, or coffee date!
The answer to any issue we are facing in life can always be found in God’s Word. Our happiness is no exception. God wants His children to be happy Christians, and He knows our deepest longings for happiness can be found ultimately in Him. If we want to experience that deep, unshakeable, soul-satisfying happiness, we must focus on the One who supplies that kind of happiness in abundance. We must choose Jesus.