I remember watching the Will Smith movie “The Pursuit of Happiness” last summer and thinking when it was over about how that movie can be something we each face daily. No matter the circumstance that we face…no matter what struggles come our way, how we handle those situations can dictate our attitude.
Happiness (according to Webster’s) is defined as “a state of well-being and contentment”. I think of the words Paul shares with us in Philippians 4:11 (NRSV), “Not that I am referring to being in need; for I have learned to be content with whatever I have.” Those words give us all we need to know about happiness…that no matter what we are facing WE determine the outcome of our attitude. Our attitude is something we control, something we choose, and depending on our choice determines how we handle the situations that we face.
I speak to this because I have been facing it up front and personal these past few weeks. I have come to realize that my bad days at work are based on the choice that I make…I have found myself more often then not sitting there during a bad day and realizing that I made the choice to let things get to me the way that they did. I have realized that my struggles were self-inflicted, and something that could have been avoided altogether.
By looking forward a couple of verses we realize that Paul not only gives us the secret of happiness, but also gives us a reason to believe that we can achieve it. He continues on to tell us in verse 13 that, “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.” The continued promise that no matter the circumstance we are facing all we have to do is turn it over to Christ and His perfect strength will pull us through.
So, as you go through this day, this month and even the rest of the year, I want to offer encouragement to you in this…reminding you that true happiness comes from the strength of Christ that we have alive in us. A strength that we achieved the day that we turned our lives over to Him and made it known that our lives are not our own; and also that no matter the trial placed before us, we make the choice of how to handle it.