How to Have a Happy Life

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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Everyone wants to be happy. At least, everyone I know. But few people understand how to be happy. Do you? If not, read on.

lifestyle concept - beautiful happy woman enjoying summer outdoors

When God gave us the Bible, He gave us the Manual for Life. Just as you get a manual when you buy a car or a manual when you buy a washing machine, so did God give us a manual.  In that manual we find everything we need to understand how we function and how to live. Included are specific instructions on how to be happy. Let’s take a look at three of them found in 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18.

In this letter written by the Apostle Paul, he lists three keys to a happy life:

1-Always be joyful. You may ask, “How can I be joyful when things aren’t going well?” The answer is simple. Joy is a decision. We can decide to be joyful because joy does not depend on our circumstances; it depends on acknowledging that Christ lives in us.  That knowledge–that Jesus is always with us in the midst of every trial–gives us great joy. But we must focus on Him within us in order to experience that joy.

2-Never stop praying. Prayer is a two-way conversation with God. You may ask, “How can I neve stop praying? I have a job to think about, a family to care for, and a hundred other things to do every day.” The answer is simple. Keep a running conversation going with the Holy Spirit all day long. Ask His advice when you face a problem with one of your children. Then do what He says to do. Tell Him you’re upset when your boss reprimands you. Then receive His comfort. Express your love and thanksgiving for Him throughout the day. Then sense His Presence.Portrait of black man very happy, smiling in urban background

3-Be thankful in circumstances. You may ask, “How can I be thankful? I just lost my job.” Or, “How can I be thankful? My husband just left me.” Or, “How can I be thankful? I just received a bad report from my doctor?” The answer is simple. Thank God IN every circumstance, not FOR every circumstance. Too many people misread His instructions. God does not expect us to thank Him for evil, because no evil comes from God. All evil comes from Satan. But God does expect us to be thankful in the midst of evil. Why? Because our thankfulness is an expression of our trust that He will deliver us from the evil.

There you have it: three keys that pack a lot of punch. Start using these keys every day. Before you know it, you will find that you are happier than you have ever been.

NOW IT’S YOUR TURN: Have you applied these three commandments to your life? If not, why not? Please share your thoughts. We value them!

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Happiness and Joy: Are They Identical?

 

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
______________________________________

Happiness is not the same as joy.

Young African American woman thankful, horizontal

Fotolia File: #55371512 | Author: Burlingham


Happiness depends on circumstances. Joy is above circumstances.

Happiness is like a roller-coaster going up and down, even by the moment.  Joy is like a deep well that never runs dry.

Happiness is external. Joy is internal.

Happiness comes from what happens to me. Joy comes from Yeshua the Messiah Who lives in me. 

Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.

         ` ~ Habakkuk 3:17-18

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If you have any questions, you may contact me as follows:

Email: drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com
Snail Mail: PO Box 1185, Merchantville, NJ 08109
Tel. 856-488-3580
________________________________
Copyright 2015 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

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Dr. Diorio is a Certified Life Coach, a Certified Biblical Counselor, and a Certified Behavioral Consultant. She is also an award-winning, widely published author of fiction for children and adults. You may reach her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com or via one of her social media venues below:

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Joy vs. Happiness

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
________________________________________

Woman Meditating or Worshiping in AutumnAre you happy?  Are you joyful? The two are not the same, you know.  You can be joyful without being happy, and you can be happy without being joyful. Of course, you can also be both.

Happiness is of the soul; joy is of the spirit.

What does this mean?  It means that happiness depends on circumstances but joy does not.  You can be joyful in the midst of great personal sorrow. In other words, you can experience joy even when your circumstances make you unhappy.  By the same token, you can be happy in your circumstances, but deep down you lack joy.

For example, a woman may be in a very unhappy marriage, but she can still experience the joy of the Lord deep within her spirit.  Or a man may be very unhappy in his job, but he can still experience the joy of the Lord deep down in his spirit.

Joy is the eternal fruit of the Holy Spirit. It supersedes the temporary circumstances of your life and causes you to rise above them.  Happiness, on the other hand, vacillates based on what is happening in your life at any given moment.  The pursuit of happiness will keep you chained to your circumstances and make you a victim of them. The pursuit of joy will set you free to rise above your circumstances.

Scripture tells us that “the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).  Joy carries us through difficult times in a way that happiness cannot.

Pursue joy above happiness. Happiness can swiftly disappear, but joy remains forever.

Unforgiveness can keep you from experiencing the joy of the Lord.  If you have no joy, ask yourself if you are harboring unforgiveness toward someone who hurt you. If so, you will benefit from reading my powerful story about a woman who had the same struggle. It is called A CHRISTMAS HOMECOMING and is available for Kindle, iPad, and Nook.  book-christmas-homecoming-alt

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If you found this post helpful, please pass it on to someone who can benefit from reading it. Thank you!

If you have any questions, you may contact me as follows:

Email: drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com
Snail Mail: PO Box 1185, Merchantville, NJ 08109
Tel. 856-488-3580

____________________________________________________________________

Copyright 2015 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

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Amazon.com Required Disclosure:  MaryAnn Diorio is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Dr. Diorio is a Certified Life Coach, a Certified Biblical Counselor, and a Certified Behavioral Consultant. She is also an award-winning, widely published author of fiction for children and adults. You may reach her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com  or via one of her social media venues below: