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Habits that Lead to Happiness: Pt. 8

How to Develop Daily Habits for Happiness, Part 2

Philippians 3:1-21

If you would like to extend this over a week, you can easily do one of the points each day in your devotion.  For a printable version, click here

Philippians 3:12-13 - I don't mean to say I am perfect.  I still haven't learned all I should, but I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ saved me for and wants me to be.  No, dear brothers, I am still not all I should be....  (TLB)

Happiness is not illusive, unattainable, or dependent on our circumstances.  Once we accept that happiness does not come from what we do but from what God has done for us, we can mature in our faith and develop healthy habits for happiness.

Paul, through his humility exemplified in Philippians 3:12-13 above, encourages our daily working toward what Christ wants us to be.  Once we understand, we can practice making the choice to be happy.  Five healthy habits for happiness include:

1)  Live in God's grace! (last week)
2)  Remember what matters! (last week)
3)  Get to know Jesus better! (last week)
4)  Review where I need to grow!
5)  Forget what can't be changed and focus on the future!

As we discipline our mind through worship and prayer daily around these five habits, we are truly choosing happiness.  

Open up in prayer.  Ask God to open your heart and remove the distractions in your mind now.  

You were created for a relationship with God.  To think that you can experience happiness without beginning your relationship, which is why you were made, we would only be fooling ourselves.  

1.  Each day we are to review where we need to grow!

Philippians 3:10 - I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his suffering, becoming like him in his death so that somehow I may be raised to life. 

 2.  If you were to look at your spiritual life, what areas do you feel you need to grow in spiritual disciplines?  Prayer?  Memorizing Scripture?  Deeper understanding of Scripture?  Being a doer of the word?

How might you create a strategy to enhance one or more of those areas?

Philippians 3:12-13 - Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.  But one thing I do:  Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.  

Sometimes fear keeps us from growing spiritually because we're afraid that God may be asking us to do something that we might not be willing to do.  Is fear holding you back from growing spiritually?

Pride can also be a cause of not growing spiritually in our life.  

Philippians 3:12-13 - I don't mean to say I am perfect.  I still haven't learned all I should, but I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ saved me for and wants me to be.... (LB)  

Pride is also something difficult to see in ourselves.  Read 2 Corinthians 13:5.  What should we do, according to that passage?

2 Corinthians 13:5 - Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith.  Don't drift along taking everything for granted.  Give yourselves regular checkups.  You need firsthand evidence, not mere hearsay, that Jesus Christ is in you.  Test it out.  If you fail the test, do something about it.   (MSG)

2.  Each day we are to forget what can't be changed and focus on the future!

How much time do you spend focusing on what can't be changed or what's in your past?

What are those issues or people or hurts that you are focused on?

Happiness requires letting go and learning to forget or forgive.  Happiness requires letting go of the hurt.

This may seem like a crazy thought, but if you have not forgiven a person or yourself, why have you not?

Philippians 3:13-14 - Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.  But one thing I do:  Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Isaiah 43:18-19 - Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.  19 See, I am doing a new thing!

Happiness is a choice.  You're as happy as you choose to be.  So even in the middle of changes you can still chose to be happy.  How you handle change in life reveals your spiritual surety.  It reveals how connected you are to God.  The more connected you are to God, the more happiness you will experience because it comes from within, and it's connected to your relationship with Christ.