From the newspapers to television to word of mouth, it seems as though happiness is seeping right through our fingers. I've had countless conversations with people about how this world is not like it used to be and how we're all going to be in unimaginable debt and crises. For a long time I accepted and nodded my head at these claims and it started to affect everything that I did. I no longer wanted to work hard, I thought 'What is the point?' It seems I'd been defeated before I'd even started the race. This is why I wrote this post. I have decided something that I should have figured out a long time ago, I have come to realise that happiness is a choice!
The Latter Days blog - this is not to be confused with the LDS or Mormon cult. (See their explanation on why they're called The Later Days) explains it perfectly, the writer says: "In days of turmoil & trial, we need to keep our eyes on Jesus to have perfect peace. This can only happen as we seek first the Kingdom of God at the expense of that which is around us".
Yes happiness is a choice, this means you have to work at being happy. There is this misconception that happiness comes naturally for everyone, all the time - this is typically confused with 'Joy', there is a big difference between joy and happiness. It is important to note that happiness is temporary. If you're in a situation that will be non existent in the long span then really evaluate if this situation is worth your happiness right now.
I've decided to motivate myself and so should you! I'm going to do whatever it takes to ensure that I am happy regardless of my circumstance. Do the little things that shift your mood. For example I've woken up some days where I don't feel my best, to block this feeling from lasting all day and ruining my day (and possibly others) - I hold unto the Lord in prayer, I've asked Him to change the circumstance or change me in the circumstance. I have to make sure that I feel good when I leave the house otherwise it builds and builds and I get quickly irritated and I don't fulfil my full potential that day. I'll go through some extra effort to style my hair a certain way or I'll wear that that funky hat, anything that will brighten me up from the outside.
This doesn't mean that you seek happiness at the expense of others, nor is it at the expense of God. You've got to encourage yourself in the Lord. There are times when you will be weary and weak but its at those times when you need to encourage yourself even more. Why am telling you to motivate yourself? Because others aren't always going to be there for you and you may feel far from God at times, it is at that point that you have to motivate yourself to pray, read the Bible, seek his face and spend time with God's people. In an age where the common mindset is typically 'Woe is me', you have to fight against that.
'The joy of the Lord is our strength, not our circumstances. We will have little or no strength against the devil if we are unstable and allow our circumstances to determine our joy'.
'Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength'. Nehemiah 8: 10