Finding Happiness In Real Life

Day 1 of 3 • This day’s reading


Happiness is a Choice 

The 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln supposedly experienced long bouts of depression. He eventually made this statement: “Most people are as happy as they make up their mind to be.” If you live long enough, you will discover that true happiness does not come from events alone, but rather from a choice.

The word “happy” derives partly from the word happenstance, indicating that a person’s happiness is at the mercy of what happens to us externally. However, true joy is internal, and comes from a source within. James tells us to consider it all joy when we face trials. In other words, when we face trials, it is up to us to decide our response. That’s how perseverance will have its work in us, making us more like Christ. God promises that only those of us who choose joy will end up mature and complete. 

Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes that, given the short span of our lives, the best we can do is to enjoy God’s blessings and find satisfaction in our work. Regardless of what your life looks like right now, if you have Christ, you have the choice to be satisfied in Him— “for without Him, who can eat or find enjoyment?” If we have Jesus, we truly have all that we need. 

We may not be able to control what happens to us; but we can certainly control our responses. There are times when we need to cry; but at some point, we must dry our eyes and make the choice to go ahead with living. Happiness is a choice.