Happiness and joy can seem fleeting, especially when we go through hard times in life. When it seems like things aren’t going well with your family, work, or relationships, it can be a struggle to even remember what happiness felt like. Having gone through a hard summer this year, I really wanted my happiness to be determined by my circumstances. I remember wishing for everything to be different in order to be happy. So when my circumstances didn’t change, I’d become more depressed and start just pretending to be happy.
The problem is, we can’t fake happiness for too long. When I do that, I become a mess full of anxiety and fear because I’m trying too hard to fool everyone else that I’m happy.
The Bible talks a lot about how joy and happiness actually come from the inside out, not the other way around. I want to focus on two things that the Bible says will bring happiness – honesty and security.
Honesty Brings Joy
 Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight!  Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty!
Psalm 32:1-2 NLT
 God places the lonely in families; he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy.
Psalm 68:6 NLT
We will feel joy when we are honest.
The Bible shows us what is right and true in our lives, which means it shows us where we need to be honest, how to be known, how to be close to others, how to feel loved, and how to be forgiven.
When we’re totally honest about who we are and choose to have a clear conscience daily, we can be freed up and have enough room to actually be happy! We don’t have to have everything bottled up and trapped inside!
I can make circumstances the basis of my happiness. I’ll think things like “If I had more money I’d be happy. If I had better clothes, more friends, more people liking me, more attention from guys, girls, or anyone, then I’d be happy.” So if I don’t have those, I feel sad, insecure and depressed. Worse yet, I indulge in those feelings; listen to sad music, watch sad shows, and feel like I’m totally justified.
The thing is, I find that what actually makes me sad is my own lying, jealousy, envy of my friends, and negative thoughts. Not my circumstances. When I envy the success, appearance, and status of people around me, I constantly feel unhappy.
We can’t always change our immediate circumstances, but we can choose how we respond to them. When we fill our lives up with light, we can be known and happy being who we are and where we’re at in life.
Security Makes us Happy
 Praise the Lord, because he heard my prayer for help.  The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him, and he helps me. I am very happy, and I praise him with my song.  The Lord is powerful; he gives victory to his chosen one.
Psalm 28:6-8 NCV
When we trust and believe we have someone as powerful as God on our side we can have confidence and security. He listens to our prayers, provides strength wherever we’re lacking, protects us even in times we don’t even know we need protection, helps us in any area we need help – he’s powerful but still cares about every detail in our lives. And when we’re secure and trust in that, we don’t have to take over and try to control everything. And for me, that’s a huge relief!
This week choose a scripture every day that will help you be honest and trust God with your life rather than taking over. Then pray through the scripture and choose to believe it over your emotions.
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