Right Thinking Leads to Happiness
“Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” (Philippians 4:8, NKJV)
God’s recipe for happiness isn’t a one-shot formula. It’s something you need to follow every day: Worry about nothing, pray about everything, thank God for anything -- and, lastly, keep your mind on the right things.
If you want to be happy, don’t fill your mind with lies. Don’t fill it with garbage. Instead, fill it with things that inspire you and make you a better person. The Bible says, “I will not put anything wicked in front of my eyes (Psalm 101:3 GW). Does that mean God doesn’t want you to have fun? No, of course not. He says it for your own good, because he knows what will truly make you happy.
What do you think about the most in your spare time? The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your thoughts.
One practical way to keep your mind on the right things is to not be critical -- to avoid putting people down. Instead, think good things about others. If you can’t think good things, just don’t think about them.
The Bible says, “Whatever things are of good report . . . meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8 NKJV). I’d like to build a church where people are always giving a “good report” about each other. You’re at the grocery store and someone asks you, “You know so and so?” And you say, “Yes, they’re a fine person.” That’s giving a good report.
God’s formula for happiness is this: Worry about nothing, pray about everything, thank God for anything, and keep your mind on the right things. If you follow it, the Bible promises, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7 NKJV).
Who’s the main ingredient of this formula? It’s Jesus Christ. Without him, the happiness formula will just flop. True happiness is the result of having a right relationship with Jesus.
Talk It Over
What do you naturally think about throughout the day?
Think of a current relationship struggle. How might that relationship change if you focus on things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, and of good report?
Do you speak kindly about people when they aren’t around? Describe the feeling you get when you know others are speaking kindly about you.
How to have a right relationship with Jesus
If you haven’t trusted in Jesus and committed to following him, why wait any longer? Your sins separate you from God. And it is only God’s grace that can get you back into right relationship with him and set you on the path toward true happiness.
The Bible says, “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV).
If you’re ready to make peace with your Creator, then pray this prayer:
“Dear Jesus, I don’t want my sin to separate me from you any longer. You have promised that if I believe in you, everything I’ve ever done wrong will be forgiven, I will learn the purpose of my life, and you will accept me into your eternal home in heaven one day.
“I confess my sin, and I believe you are my Savior. You have promised that if I confess my sin and trust you, I will be saved. I trust you when you say salvation comes by grace, through faith, and not by anything I do. I receive you into my life as my Lord. Today, I’m turning over every part of my life to your management.
“I want to live the way you created me to live. I want to experience true happiness and use the rest of my life to serve you instead of serving myself. I commit my life to you and ask you to save me and accept me into your family. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”
If you just prayed to accept Jesus, please email me at Rick@PastorRick.com and let me know about it. I’d like to send you some free materials to help you start your journey with Jesus.
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This devotional © 2021 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.