<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> Untitled Document God's Rules For Happy Living

In our hectic world of suicide, depression, divorce, bitterness and hatred --
happiness, joy and contentment are precious commodities indeed -- they are constantly being sought after.
So many advertisements appeal to our natural desire to be happy -- promising joy and contentment if we will only try their product(s).
Most advertising focuses upon fleshly lusts to entice people to buy their product(s).
You never see ugly people selling products when they expect ugly people to buy such.
But look around you, the majority of people have never found true and lasting happiness!
As a result, some people have become cynical about the elusive state of happiness -- denying that such even exists.
Is there such a thing as true happiness?
Yes -- happiness is a reality and it can be ours.
Not only can Christians be happy, but
God expects and commands that his people be happy:

Romans 14:17: "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost."
Philippians 3:1: "Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe."
Philippians 4:4: "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, rejoice."
I Thessalonians 5:16: "Rejoice evermore."
I Peter 4:13: "But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy."
Paul rejoiced and was full of happiness even in less than pleasant circumstances.    2 Corinthians 6:10: "As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things."
2 Corinthians 7:4: "Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying of you: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation."
2 Corinthians 12:10: "Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."

Other passages could be cited, but these should be sufficient.
We see that God not only wants us to be happy, but He commands it through His word.
Christians of all people should be joyful and happy.
Our only question now is how do we accomplish becoming happy and joyful.
Happiness is not something that we stumble on by accident.
Happiness cannot be bought, sold or traded (regardless of the many sales pitches to the contrary).
Fortunately, happiness is not a commodity afforded only the rich or affluent.
Happiness is a state of mind within everyone's grasp!
Many books have been written; all claiming to contain the formula for happiness and contentment.
But the very best advice to be found on the subject was written years ago and is found in God's Word -- the Bible.
In the short time that we have together, I want us to notice some of God's Rules For Happy Living.

Other people don't need your troubles, they have enough of their own.
God has promised to bless His children abundantly.
Matthew 6:33: "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
Malachi 3:10: "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."
We live in the richest and greatest nation in the world.
Even the poorest American is rich in comparison to the rest of the world.
Sure you have your problems -- we all do -- but let's face it, our blessings far outweigh our burdens.
We need to practice the words of the song: "Count Your Many Blessings."
If we will count our blessings, we will be happier and more thankful to our Heavenly Father. 

We can conquer any problem or sin if we will only learn to live life one day at a time! 
Most of our fears for tomorrow never materialize.
If people would only learn to live one day at a time, there would be fewer ulcers, and fewer nervous breakdowns.
We have no assurance of living till tomorrow -- so why not take it as it comes -- one day at a time?
James 4:13-15: "Go to now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: (14) Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. (15) For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that."
If we would only learn this we would be much happier. 

If we are not getting out of life what we expect, it may be that we are expecting to always receive and never give.
Luke 6:38: "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."
Some go through life always expecting to receive from others, but they never give a thing.
These people are despised for such behavior.
Acts 20:35: "I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive." 

Numerous scriptures could be cited:
I Thessalonians 5:17: "Pray without ceasing."
Philippians 4:6: "Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God."
Colossians 4:2: “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving;"
Every Christian should reserve time during the day to thank God for his many blessings and to ask for His guidance.
When a husband and wife do not talk or communicate we know that something is wrong -- when God's children do not communicate with Him, something is wrong!
Prayer is a vital ingredient in God's Recipe for Happiness. 

(This may sound strange at first)
All things have a place in life.
Some things are far more important than others.
We must learn to keep important things in first place.
Many things in life are important, (some more than others).
Our Lord stressed priorities in Matthew 6:33.
Spiritual matters must take priority over material things.
One cannot be truly happy until he learns to count the true value of things -- and put first things first. 

So often we allow little things to bother us (often imaginary).
We allow little things (and others) to rob us of happiness.
Philippians 4:7: "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
We (as Christians) of all people have every reason to be at peace with ourselves -- we have peace with God. 

As God's children we should fill our minds with good thoughts and ideas.
Philippians 4:8: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
There should be no room for trashy evil thoughts in the mind of a Christian.
It has been estimated that over 70% of all physical ills could be overcome if we could learn to laugh and cry.
Many think it's terrible to laugh and joke.
There are times when it is inappropriate.
Yet it can also relieve a stressful situation.
And we need wisdom to know when is the appropriate time.
Proverbs 17:22: "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones."
Romans 12:15: "Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep."
Only when we learn to laugh and cry with one another can we truly be happy and "bear one another's burdens." (Galatians 6:2)

Learn to smile & the world will smile with you.
Either that or they will think you are nuts.
Philippians 4:4: "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, rejoice."
As we already mentioned, we have so much to be happy about.
Let us show the world that Christians are truly happy people! 

As Christians we should crowd out our fears with faith in God.
We are weak, but our Father is strong.
Matthew 10:28: "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."
Philippians 4:13: "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
With God on our side, what, or who do we have to fear? 

Too many people want to run their own lives after obeying the gospel.
But we must let God have full control of our lives.
This is the only way to find true peace and happiness.
David spoke of this in Psalm 23.
Until we truly let Christ be Lord (Master) of our lives, we will not, we cannot be truly happy!
There can only be one person in the drivers seat.

Yes, Happiness can be found!!!
Not in anything this world has to offer.
True happiness can be found only in obedience to God's will.
Only when we submit to God's Word can we have true peace and happiness.
Have you found the happiness that God intended for us to know?
Just remember, happiness is a habit -- a by-product of right thinking and living.

By Carey Scott from an outline by Herschel Bass

Return to the Sermon Outlines page

Home / Bible studies / Bible Survey / Special Studies / General Articles / Non-Bible Articles / Sermons / Sermon Outlines / Links / Questions and Answers / What Saith The Scriptures /Daily Devotional / Correspondence Courses / What is the Church of Christ / Book: Christian Growth / Website Policy / E-mail / About Me /