“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
I heard another report the other day about researchers investigating the causes of happiness. Everybody wants to be happy—we spend our lives chasing happiness. We think we know what will make us happy, but more often than not, once we achieve those things, we find out that we are not at all happier than we thought we would be! People think money, and the things it can buy, will make them happy. In one study, in another nation, they found out that in fact the more money people had, the less happy they were!
One of the things researchers have discovered is that one of the main sources of happiness is not money, possessions, intelligence, good looks, popularity, climate or health. They found out that the main source of happiness is gratitude! Gratitude is not something found outsidof yourself. Gratitude comes from within. It’s not what’s in your hands, but what’s in your heart. Gratitude is an attitude—an attitude you choose to have and display. Gratitude is a decision—you can choose whether or not to be grateful.
Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but ever be filled and stimulated with the [Holy] Spirit. Speak out to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, offering praise with voices [and instruments] and making melody with all your heart to the Lord, At all times and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father. Ephesians 5:17-20 AMP
Understand what God’s will is and, at all times and for everything, praise and give thanks to the Father, in the Name of Jesus. Look for reasons to thank God and be thankful. Remind yourself of His blessings and what He has done for you. Don’t wait for the pie in the sky before you’ll be happy. With the help of the Holy Spirit, start to be happy and to enjoy your life right now.
Be happy [in your faith] and rejoice and be glad-hearted continually (always); Be unceasing in prayer [praying perseveringly]; Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will]. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 AMP
No matter what you are going though, be happy and give thanks to the Lord. It is His will that you would be happy and be thankful. Don’t be dominated and defeated by your circumstances. The more you allow your situation to get you down, the more entrenched in the mess you will be. Start to thank God for the way out; thank Him for the answer; and soon the solution will come and your circumstances will change. Don’t talk about your financial lack or how you can’t afford what you want and need. Thank God that you are the head and not the tail, above and not beneath, and that you will lend to many nations and you will not borrow! Speak your hopes and your faith, not your doubt and unbelief.
I give thanks to Him Who has granted me [the needed] strength and made me able [for this], Christ Jesus our Lord, because He has judged and counted me faithful and trustworthy, appointing me to [this stewardship of] the ministry. 1 Timothy 1:12 AMP
Even though Paul endured horrific persecution, as well as physical, mental, and emotional challenges, to fulfill the call of God, he remained grateful to the Lord—grateful that He would even count him worthy to be in the ministry. Instead of being mad or complaining—he was thankful! When he and Silas were arrested, thrown in a dungeon, and tied up in stocks, they chose not take it personally and ask, “Why me Lord?” Rather they chose to rejoice and praise God in the midst of their circumstance. Because they praised instead of complaining, God supernaturally delivered them. Gratitude does not consider the problem—gratitude considers the solution.
All these curses shall come upon you and shall pursue you and overtake you till you are destroyed, because you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which He commanded you. They shall be upon you for a sign [of warning to other nations] and for a wonder, and upon your descendants forever. Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joyfulness of [mind and] heart [in gratitude] for the abundance of all [with which He had blessed you]. Deuteronomy 28:45-47 AMP
If you turn this scripture around, you could read it like this: I am abundantly blessed, because I serve the Lord my God with joyfulness of mind and heart, in gratitude for the abundance of all with which He has blessed me.
Make a decision to serve the Lord with joyfulness of mind and heart. Make a decision to be grateful not only for what the Lord has already done for you, but also for what He has promised He would do for you, and see what wonderful things will open up in your life!