There is one critical difference between those people who live with great happiness and those who live with great unhappiness. The former focus on the blessings in their lives while the latter focus on the deficits in their lives. It is a matter of focus and it makes the difference between a life of joy and a life of unhappiness.
Our personal happiness is not dependent on our life circumstances. It is dependent on our focus. Having travelled the world and met people who live in extreme poverty but who know Christ I am always amazed at their joy. In conversations they tell me about all the blessings they have because of Jesus. I meet other believers who have all the material blessings who are deeply pessimistic about their circumstances. Regardless of our life situation we always have a choice as to our focus: A focus on Jesus and His blessings or a focus on ourselves and our problems. Our focus will determine our level of joy and happiness.
Those who choose to focus on their situation and problems will never be truly happy because there focus is in the wrong place. Think about the Psalms David wrote. They deal with real life but time after time David refocuses his mind on the blessings of God who is our rock, our fortress, our protector, our provider, our healer, our Savior and the list goes on and on. Even in the depths of personal despair David kept his focus on the One who could bring happiness, joy and was the source of his life. David's life was far from easy for many years, yet he retained a positive outlook by focusing on God and His blessings and provision.
When we focus on our problems and circumstances we put the source of our happiness into the hands of life which will surely disappoint. When we focus on Jesus and His blessings we put the source of our happiness into the hands of the only One who can truly give it. As the Psalmist says, "I pray to you, O Lord, for the time of your favor. O God! In your great kindness answer me with your constant help. Answer me, O Lord, for bounteous is your kindness; in your great mercy turn toward me. I am afflicted and in pain; let your saving help, O God, protect me. I will praise the name of God in son, and I will glorify him with thanksgiving."
One of my regular habits it to journal. I am frank and honest in what I write. But I find myself reflecting often on the blessings of God in my life and it changes everything when I focus on the many blessings He gives on a daily basis. It is all too easy to miss those blessings when our focus in in the wrong place. Focus on Him and we see His blessings. Focus on ourselves and we miss them. Every day we have a choice. And it is a powerful choice.
TJ Addington of Addington Consulting has a passion to help individuals and organizations maximize their impact and go to the next level of effectiveness. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.