What will it take to make you happy?  What will make your life joyful?

   Most people think it’s the big things in life that bring happiness. They believe they’ll be happy if they win the lottery, find the perfect job, have the perfect house in the perfect neighborhood, have the latest and greatest electronic gadgets, or find the perfect mate. You get the idea.

   Those are external things that bring joy for a short time. Sooner or later trouble comes to spoil that perceived perfection. The lottery winnings may not last as long as one hoped. Changes in the workplace make the job less than perfect. That perfect house and neighborhood will eventually need repair. The latest and greatest gadgets will be outdated in a week. That mate that seemed so perfect in the beginning now irritates every nerve in your body.

   True happiness is internal. It comes from within us. It’s an attitude. Joy begins when we stop expecting people, circumstances, and things to make us happy. It begins when we stop letting our joyful attitude be taken from us.

   This planet we live on is in turmoil. It seems that it’s never been such a mess before. The truth is that the world is always in turmoil. The difference is that now we are bombarded with bad news through the media. How can anyone be happy with the world in the state that it’s in?  How has anyone ever found happiness ever on this planet?

   The key is to focus on the little things. Think about those everyday things that make you smile or make your heart soar. The sound of a child’s laughter. The warmth of the sun on your face. Playing with your children or grandchildren. The hug of a loved one. Spending time with friends. Eating your favorite dessert.

   Focus on the blessings in your life every day. You’ll find that those blessings far outweigh the bad things. Psalm 118:24 says, “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

   Even in times of trouble, focus on the good rather than the bad. It may be difficult, but it will help you to get through the storm. Jesus told his followers, “In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

   “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18

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