Faithlife Sermons

Choosing Happiness

The Pursuit of Happiness  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  31:34
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Our perspective towards life situations is what creates most unhappiness. But we can train our minds, attention and pleasures to take hold of the happiness God has for us.

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2018-09-30 1 CHOOSING HAPPINESS The Pursuit of Happiness 2 The story so far… 1 ■ All people desire happiness. ■ The good news of Jesus Christ offers people both eternal happiness and the only real present happiness. ■ People are drawn to Christ when they see true happiness in his followers and are pushed away when they see us chronically unhappy. ■ God is the sole origin of true happiness, and we should wholeheartedly seek our delight in Him. 3 The Secret to Happiness 1 ■ Happiness is not dependent on external conditions – 10% circumstantial, 50% makeup, and 40% perspective – Greek philosopher Epictetus: “Men are disturbed not by the things which happen, but by their opinions about the things.” ■ Stop imagining that all you’d need to be happier is a different circumstance – Wherever you go, there you are 4 How we sabotage our own happiness 1 ■ We’re lousy at predicting what will make us happy – Indulgence/liberty – Success – Relationships – “This time, it will work” ■ Perspectives that commonly interfere with our happiness – Worry/anxiety – Comparison – Unforgiveness/bitterness 5 Training for Happiness 1 ■ Christians lack nothing to live happy lives, but actually experiencing happiness requires sustained effort – Happiness is natural but not automatic 6 Train your mind 1 ■ “Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” Phil 4:8 – Keep the birds from nesting ■ Ways to “dig new channels for the rivers of your thoughts”: – Focus on eternal realities, rather than “the news” – Do your work with excellence – Go through the motions ■ The key is “Biblical self-talk” – “Why are you downcast, O my soul?” Ps 42-43; 103 7 Train your attention ■ Live in the now 1 2018-09-30 ■ Live in the now – Resist being pulled away from the present moment, to either past regrets or future worries – The 2 Great Quest’ns: Where are you? Here! What time is it? Now! ■ Ways to practice “the sacrament of the present moment”: – Take your gratitude and concerns to God (Phil 4:6) – Enjoy creation – Forgive (don’t rehearse wrongs) 8 Train your pleasures 1 ■ Find innocent things that enrich your life and make you happy – The Bible is filled with references to celebration, including singing, dancing, eating and drinking – Natural, social, vocational, physical, intellectual, and humorous happiness ■ In moments of strength, make godly preparation for moments of weakness 2
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