INTRODUCTION: Often people make their own lives miserable and other people help them find isery. Abraham Lincoln once said "most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." Are you laying out a plan for happiness?
I. TRUST IN GOD
A. The great man of wisdom Solomon tells us who is to be the object of our trust.II. RELISH THE SCRIPTURES1. Proverbs 3:5,6 - Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 - In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.B. When we trust in the Lord to guide our lives we will experience a peace
A. The child of God takes joy in God's book.III. LIVE RIGHTEOUSLY1. Psalms 119:103 - How sweet are Your words to my taste, Sweeter than honey to my mouth!B. As Christians, we have reason to rejoice in the Law of God, the Word of God.
A. There is a general principle that we weep what we sow.IV. WORSHIP GOD WITH REGULARITY1. Galatians 6:7,8 - Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 - For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.B. Living righteously avoids the stings and sorrows that those in the world often experience.1. Psalms 32:10,11 - Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; But he who trusts in the LORD, mercy shall surround him. 11 - Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous; And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!C. While there are sorrows and pains that the righteous suffer there are so many problems which the righteous will never have to undergo.
A. The regular worship of God is a source of joy and happiness for God's saints.V. KEEP A CLEAN CONSCIENCE1. Psalms 122:1 - I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go into the house of the LORD."B. There is a great spiritual strength to regular worship.
A. A guilty conscience will cause a person to be unhappy.VI. LEARN CONTENTMENT1. Genesis 42:21 - Then they said to one another, "We are truly guilty concerning our brother, for we saw the anguish of his soul when he pleaded with us, and we would not hear; therefore this distress has come upon us."B. The Scriptures urge us to keep a clean conscience.a. The brothers of Joseph had a guilty conscience over the years as a result of their sin against their brother.2. Judas had a guilty conscience over his betraying of Jesus, it drove him to commit suicide.1. 1 Timothy 1:5 - Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith,C. The value of a good conscience.
A. The grass is not greener on the other side.VII. STAY BUSY AND CONSTRUCTIVE1. This is the lie that Satan has always sought to convince us that we need only have something that we don't already have and we would be completely content. This was really the ecsence of Satan's tricking of Eve.B. Paul taught us the key to contentment.a. Genesis 3:4,5 - Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. 5 - "For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."1. Hebrews 13:5 - Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."
A. Idleness is a recipe for displeasure, restlessness, and despondency.CONCLUSION: "Fewer than 10 percent of Americans are deeply committed Christians, says pollster George Gallup, who adds that these people "are far, far happier than the rest of the population." Committed Christians, Gallup found, are more tolerant than the average American, more involved in charitable activities, and are "absolutely committed to prayer." While many more Americans than this 10 percent profess to be Christians, adds Gallup, most actually know little or nothing of Christian beliefs, and act no differently than non-Christians."1. 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. 11 - For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. 12 - Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread.B. We should stay active in the work of the Lord.1. 1 Corinthians 15:58 - Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
While I would argue with Mr. Gallup's definition of a Christian, I would not argue with his conclusion, that those who truly put into action the principles found in the Bible are happier. How well are you living what you profess? A lack of commitment is likely the reason for a lack of true happiness.
Note: Much of this lesson was taken from a sermon by John Gurtler, found
on the Internet.
Copyright 1999 by Grady
Scott may be reproducted for non-commercial purposes at no cost to others.