When going through trials and tribulations, the first instinct is usally to dwell on the negative, the things you don't have or the things you want. However, being content or happy is actually a mindset that can only be determined by you. Only you and you alone can decide to change your world. You can't do it alone or in your own strength, that's where God comes in. Acknowledge God in all things, but the first step in changing things in your own life that you'd like to change is deciding to do it.
“The fear of the LORD leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble.” Proverbs 19:23 (NIV)
“A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.” Proverbs 15:13 (NIV)
It's a little known fact that surrounding yourself with positive things can improve one's outlook on life. Dwelling on what you do have and the blessings you have received in life instead of dwelling on the negative and things you don't have will actually help keep you happy and positive throughout the day.
Try this experiment over the next few weeks. As the holidays approach, surround yourself with positive influences: Listen to Christian,Christmas or classical music throughout your day. Choose reading material that focuses on God and the blessings He gives us. Choose to be around positive peaple.
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” Romans 12:12-13 (NIV)
Surround yourself with Christian influences who will help lift you up, encourage you and support you scripturally, mentoring you if possible, to help you grow in Christ. I can almost guarntee that avoiding negative influences, negative people and stressful situations will help life look brighter. Combine that with a positive out look and a focus on God and the things of God and His blessings upon your life, and it's almost impossible not to be happy.
“I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.” Ecclesiastes 3:12 (NIV)
“This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot. Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God. They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.” Ecclesiastes 5:18-20 (NIV)
The key to being happy is choosing to be happy and focus on all that makes you happy. Count your blessing. Let your lifesong sing to God. It's all up to you.
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