3 Keys to Living a Happy Life
By Drenda Keesee
Do you feel like you spend a lot of time dwelling on the negatives? Frequently, we tend to let our circumstances overwhelm us. We focus on the moment and forget there are bigger and better things ahead.
My mom always used to tell me, “Nobody can steal your joy unless you give them permission first.”
Every single day, we have a choice. We can react to everything happening around us, or we can take action and create the lives we want to live. Don’t give someone the keys to your happiness!
Read below to discover three keys to your happiness, and how you can start living the happy life God has for you today!
1. Make the Choice to Rejoice
The happy life doesn’t mean the perfect life.
Jesus said, “In the world, you’ll have trouble. But cheer up [or be happy]! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33, GWT).
Jesus has already paid the price so you can live free and happy.
My husband, Gary, and I spent the early years of our marriage in an old 1980s farmhouse. There was a season I got stuck thinking about the negative things about the house: the ancient appliances; the wild plants pushing their way through the windows; the testy, turn-of-the-century toilet—the only one in the house! We went through difficult times living in that farmhouse.
But believe me, I reached for anger, and when that didn’t work, I reached for self-pity—but I realized that dwelling on negative thoughts was robbing me of my joy. I knew I needed to break that cycle of defeat, so I put a sign in the bathroom that said:
“Make the choice to rejoice.”
You always have a choice. You can focus on yesterday’s pain or today’s joy. Make the choice to rejoice!
2. See the Promises Over Problems
“A happy heart is good medicine and a joyful mind causes healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones”(Proverbs 17:22, AMP).
When we believe God’s promises, we can be happy in any situation. Don’t let your spirit be broken! Decide now to get into the Word of God and let your heart get happy again. Start rejoicing in God and recognizing His promises.
There is something inside each of us that we can smile about if we focus on what God has done for us. When I was growing up, my mom put a poem up on our refrigerator that was about smiling. It was such a smart thing because every time I would go by the fridge, I would think Smile, smile, smile. So, smile! Write positive affirmations and Scripture from God’s Word, and post them throughout your home.
Don’t let yourself get off the promises and on the problems.
Choose joy by seeking out God’s Word. God’s Word is an anchor for your soul. If you open your ears to His voice, He will shatter the chains of negativity and speak His truth into your heart. We will never be truly happy if we focus only on our problems in life and never on anything positive. When we seek God and His Kingdom, we will be satisfied with a joy that the world doesn’t give and cannot take away!
Keep your eyes on Him, and your happiness will no longer be based on your circumstances!
3. Practice Gratitude to Change Your Attitude
There is a connection between what you believe and your joy! Choose to believe what God and His Word say to you and about you.
What you meditate on becomes a belief. Meditating on your failures, mistakes, and what someone did or said to you will make you negative and zap the strength out of you. Therefore, you must guard yourself against wrong thinking and wrong believing. Think happy thoughts! When you have a personal relationship with God, you can believe good things about who you are in Him, and you can rejoice!
Don’t let the enemy steal your joy. Believe what God says, and serve Him with gladness!
Getting out there and serving in the Kingdom is a great way to have gratitude and be joyful. There is something about helping others and sharing kindness and God’s love that instantly improves our mood.
When we focus on the good things we have been blessed with, there is no room in our minds for negativity. Every person’s happiness is ultimately their choice. Either we can be thankful for what we have, or have a bad attitude about everything wrong. Negative thoughts will hold you back from your God-given identity! God has a purpose, and a plan specifically for you, but you can’t truly experience that unless you let go of the bad attitude weighing you down!
We all have bad days, but you don’t have to let your circumstances keep you from walking in the freedom you have in Christ. I learned this the hard way, but you don’t have to!
When I made the choice to rejoice, I regained my joy and took back my day. The most powerful lesson I learned was that my happiness was MY CHOICE. I COULD choose to have a good day.
“Nobody can steal your joy unless YOU give them permission.”
Get your happy on!
Listen in Now to Faith Life Church!
Drenda Keesee’s contagious zeal and humorous personal experiences help make her ministry of spiritual, emotional and relational wholeness one that will bless your life and spark a new fire in your spirit.
A wife of over 30 years and a mother of five children, Drenda has ministered at churches, seminars, and conferences, and through the mediums of television and radio, for more than 20 years.
Her books, The New Vintage Family, Better Than You Think, and She Gets It are available wherever books are sold. In these heartfelt books, Drenda shares her personal journey and the life lessons that have brought her to where she is today, as well as practical answers that all people need to live a joyful life.
Drenda and her husband Gary founded Faith Life Now, a ministry designed to spread the message of freedom in the areas of finances, faith, marriage, and family. Tune in for their weekly messages here. Faith Life Now hosts conferences worldwide, and sponsors both Fixing the Money Thing, which Drenda co-hosts with her husband Gary, and Drenda.
Through their own life experiences, the Keesees have found the principles from God’s Word to be powerful and effective. At one point, Drenda was a young, suicidal feminist with no hope of ever being “good enough” for her own standards of perfection. She never wanted the “inconvenience” of a husband or children, and she was on her own path to success. But the stress of trying to achieve perfection and perform for love left her broken and used. She had success, but it was nothing compared to the pain and loneliness it had also brought.
That’s when God got a hold of her heart. It was there—at her lowest point—that she found the One who accepted and loved her, faults and all. Since that transformation, Drenda has had a passion to reach women who find themselves where she once was.
She married Gary after attending college, and there she found herself in a personal boot camp of sorts. She says, “I cried and told God, ‘I can do anything but be a wife and mother.’” She committed to learning how to do it God’s way. Through the many years of raising their children and struggling to make ends meet, Drenda learned from their mistakes. “I didn’t know how to be a wife and mother, but God saved our marriage, taught us how to parent our children for success, showed us how to have financial success, and then irony of all ironies, He called us to ministry.” It’s truly because of these life experiences that Drenda can now share so many insightful principles for people who are now going through the same struggles.