The Key to Happiness that Lasts (HINT: it has nothing to do with your circumstances)

The Key to Happiness that Lasts (HINT: it has nothing to do with your circumstances)

The key to happiness that lasts lies in our perspective - specifically, we can choose to stop waiting for our circumstances to become perfect...

Tags: Gratitude, True Happiness, key to happiness


Most of us associate happiness with our circumstances. Personally, when I think of the times I have been happiest in life, I tend to think of times like my wedding day (and honeymoon), playing live music (an absolute passion of mine), buying a new car (it even has a stereo!), moments of financial security (I can actually save a few hundred bucks this month!), and the like.

As such, it is common to “condition” ourselves towards the reality that we can only be happy when certain things are true in the moment. While this is a noble goal, in its pursuit we can miss the true path to happiness.

The key to happiness that lasts is to cultivate a constant attitude of gratitude, or thankfulness. You are probably asking two key questions about this: 1) Why is that… and 2) How does it work?

First – Why is that? The truth is that our circumstances will never stay permanent enough to drive a lifetime of happiness. Take any specific thing in your life and think that through. The honeymoon ends. The live music show is over. The new car will get old over time. The excess cash this month will be spent on a new hot water heater in two months. And on and on and on…

Second – How does it work? So until the Spirit more fully reveals God’s gift and promise to our daily life, our goal is to practice daily rituals of gratitude. The good news is that if we look around us, we can see that there are thousands of reasons for which to be grateful that are easily and often overlooked. Let’s take a moment to think about our comfort. The typical American family has a climate controlled home, a refrigerator for our food, ice for our drinks, and a soft bed for sleeping. Many of us have children that bless our lives every day by filling our homes with laughter and games. Many of us have spouses that do so many things for our families in order that we can simply focus on our work. We have an abundance of food choices at all times, both in and outside of our homes.

There is actually one gift that does last a lifetime and eternally. If our earthly minds and experience were to truly grasp that gift, it would be enough to overshadow any and all circumstances that leave us desperate and hopeless. One of our classic biblical examples of this is Paul. Paul wrote over half of the New Testament with text that is filled with guidance for good Christian living – all from the isolation of a prison cell! His reigning enthusiasm, excitement and testimony for Jesus far outweighed his dire circumstances. Why? Well, quite simply, he got it! He fully understood the gift of Christ for him (and each of us). Full understanding of that gift would be just as liberating to each of us were we to understand as well.

The point is, when we take a moment to really pause and look around, there are thousands of facts about our circumstances for which we can be thankful. Joy follows closely behind.

We here at OnlinePrayerJournal.com believe constant gratitude is so crucial to really feeling happy, we have a resource to help you cultivate daily gratitude HERE. Our Daily Bread resource is written to help you identify those areas you made not always see as reasons to be happy.

I will leave you with this scripture from Phillipians 4:12...

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

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