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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Joel Osteen » Joel Osteen - Choose To Be Happy

Joel Osteen - Choose To Be Happy

Joel Osteen - Choose To Be Happy
TOPICS: Happiness, Your Best Life Now, Encouragement

Did you know, that God designed you for a life you can enjoy? You don't have to wait for everything to be straightened out in your family, for your business to run smoothly, for all your problems to be solved. You don't have to wait till you lose the weight, break a bad habit, or accomplish all your goals. You can choose to be happy today. I'm Joel Osteen, I have good news, no matter where you are in life, or what challenges you're facing, you can start living Your Best Life Now.

Too many people drag through the day sour, with no enthusiasm, they hardly ever smile, they never laugh anymore, everything is a burden. But God never created us to endure life, he created us to enjoy life. We're not supposed to go around with a long face, negative, discouraged, we're supposed to be the happiest people on earth. Everywhere we go, we should brighten people's day. You've been around people like that before, they're so enthusiastic, happy, full of faith, they rub off on you. When you leave you feel better, refreshed, re-energized, inspired, that's the impact we should have on others. Our joy should overflow to them.

But it's easy to let the pressures of life push us down to where we're not excited about our future, we don't laugh anymore, we don't have any fun, we're not enjoying the people God put in our life. If you don't make an adjustment, you'll get more and more solemn, and more and more grumpy. It's not only robbing you of the happiness that belongs to you, but it's robbing your family and your friends, of the gift that you have to give. You need to draw that line in the sand, and say that's it, I'm not living another day negative, defeated, sour, grumpy, I'm going to put a smile on my face. I'm going to let my joy be seen, where I can brighten somebody else's day. I'm going to live my life happy.

Happiness is not going to fall on us, it's a decision that we have to make. You may not be living in your dream house. You may not have the job you want. Maybe you're single, but you want to be married. I'd be easy to live frustrated, upset, until those things change, but if you don't learn to be happy where you are, you'll never get to where you wanna be. And it's good to have big dreams, it's good to want to go further, but don't let those dreams and goals frustrate you and keep you from being happy where you are. God is directing your steps. Where you are is not an accident, it's a part of His divine plan. If you'll keep a good attitude, and go out each day with a smile on your face, and live your life happy right where you are, then you're passing the test. That's the seed you're sowing for God to do something new. That's what allows God to open new doors, and get you to where you wanna be.

But too many people are at war on the inside. They think, I can't be happy, I don't even like my life. I don't like the way I look. I don't like this car I drive. I don't like where I'm living. I don't like the people in my life. When those things change, then I'll be happy. But God never intended for us to put off our happiness. David said, "This is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it". He's saying, this is the day to be happy. Not tomorrow, when the weather clears up. Not next week, when I don't have to work so hard. Not next month, when I make it through this difficult time. Make a decision to enjoy your life right now.

It's so easy to come up with excuses to delay our happiness. "Soon as I get out of this problem, then I'll be happy Joel. Soon as I lose 10 pounds. Soon as my business grows. Soon as my child straightens up". If you don't put your foot down, and decide to be happy right now, there will always be something to keep you from being happy. Get rid of the excuses, and start enjoying your life right now.

It's interesting as a little child, we start off happy, laughing, enthusiastic, problems don't keep us down. A little child can be crying one minute, because something is wrong, and five minutes later they've forgotten about it, and they're happy again. I've never seen a little child holding a grudge. I've never seen a toddler walking around with bitterness and resentment. Never seen a five year old worried about his future, not sure if he's going to make it. Children are happy, they enjoy the simple things in life, they forgive quickly, they're excited about each day.

When our daughter Alexandra was a baby, I would go get her in the morning in the crib. She would be so happy to see me, she would start jumping up and down, give me a big hug. What was the big occasion? Were we going to a party? Was it her birthday? Was she going on vacation? No, it was simply the dawning of another day. She was excited to just be alive. She was happy just to wake up and have another day to enjoy. That's the excitement God put on the inside of each one of us. That's the well of joy coming up, totally unclogged, flowing freely.

So often as we get older, we let the challenges of life sour our spirits. We have to realize, everyday is a gift from God. We can never get this day back. If we make the mistake of living it unhappy, discouraged, upset, angry, then we have wasted this day. Some people have wasted years, reliving disappointments, focused on what didn't work out, upset over what somebody did to them. Don't let that be you, life is flying by, we're not always gonna be here. Make a decision that you're going to live your life happy. Put a smile on your face. Start laughing again. Like that little child, celebrate the fact that you're alive.

Friends, happiness is a choice. You can choose what kind of day you're going to have. You can choose to be in a good mood, or you can choose to be in a bad mood. You can choose to live that day happy, in faith, expecting God's goodness, or you can choose to be irritable and sour, just try to make it through. How you live your life is totally up to you. If you don't set the tone for the day, negative thoughts will set it for you. When you first wake up, before you check your phone, before you see what the weather is like, before you see what kind of mood your spouse is in, you need to decide, "this is going to be a great day. I'm excited about my future. I know God is directing my steps. Something good is going to happen to me today". That's setting the tone for a blessed, prosperous, happy day.

The scripture says, "Joy comes in the morning". When you wake up each morning, God sends you a special delivery of joy. It comes knocking on your door. When you make that declaration of faith, that this is going to be a good day. You know what you did? You just answered the door. You've just received the gift of joy that God sent you. The problem is, some people never answer the door. It's been knocking month after month, year after year, "Come on, let me in. You can cheer up, you can enjoy your life, you can be happy, just answer the door". I've made up my mind every morning, I'm going to answer that door. I'm going to get up and say, "Father, thank you for another beautiful day. I'm going to be happy. I'm going to enjoy this day. I'm going to brighten somebody else's life. I'm choosing to receive Your gift of joy".

A lot of times we think, "I'm unhappy because somebody is not treating me right. I'm unhappy because I have to work late. I'm unhappy because I'm not where I want to be". But the truth is, you're unhappy, because you're choosing to be unhappy. The scripture says, "No man can take your joy". That means no person, no obstacle, no disappointment, no sickness, nothing can take your joy, you have to give away. You're in control. You're in charge of how happy or unhappy you want to be. Are you allowing someone else to keep you unhappy? You have to draw that line in the sand and say, "That's it, I'm not going to allow them to upset me anymore. This day is a gift from God, and I'm not going to waste it being unhappy, upset, discouraged, I'm going to enjoy this day".
You are responsible to get up each morning and receive the gift of joy.

I heard about these two men, they had been brick layers over 30 years. They were working on this skyscraper downtown. One was always complaining, always unhappy, discouraged, dreading to go to work. The other man was just the opposite, he came to work with enthusiasm, he was always upbeat, positive, excited about life. One day at the construction site, a friend came by and asked what they were doing. The first man said, "We're just laying bricks, this is all we've done for 30 years, one brick after another". They asked the second man what he was doing, he lit up. He said, "We're building a magnificent building. This place will stand tall and be seen for generations, I'm so glad that I could be a part of it". Their happiness, or lack of it was all in their perspective.

You can be laying a brick every day, or you can be building a beautiful building, the choice is up to you. Wherever you are in life, make the most of it, be the best that you can be. Whatever your assignment, do it with passion, do it with enthusiasm. Your day may not be filled with extraordinary events, but in the midst of the ordinary, you can choose to have extraordinary joy. We should be so full of joy, that other people want what we have. Ask yourself, is the way I'm living attractive and contagious? Will the way I handle setbacks cause others to question my source of joy. In other words, are you drawing people to God because of your attitude of faith, your friendliness, your enthusiasm, your joy. If you want to point people to God, be excited about the life He's given you. Even in private, joy can be contagious. A celebration of life's simple joys can catch the whole world's attention. Don't believe me, well you need to meet my friend Candace Payne, better known to most people as Chewbacca Mom.

Candace Payne: "Hey, I'm really excited to share with you something I got". It's been a little bit over two years since I posted that video. "Okay, here I go. So, yes! Now watch when my mouth actually moves". When I made that video, I was making an effort to choose joy that day, and to experience something that would bring me some fun, and bring my mom friends fun. "That's not me making that noise, it's the mask. Here listen". Within a couple of hours, I had multiple friends reaching out and texting me saying, oh my goodness, I shared your video, that was hilarious, how fun is that. And when I woke up the next morning, that one million view count had actually turned into 24 million views, and I had no less than 15-20 voicemails from BBC, MPR, Good Morning America, The Today Show, I mean, like it was just, it was a bat so crazy. "This is worth every penny".

Life has not always been easy, and I don't think that I got a free pass on the joy. I actually have lived a life that's been full of sorrow, full of shame, full of regret, full of much unexpected tragedy, in all honesty. And I've had to fight for every single ounce joy that I have, I've had to choose it daily. Every time I see pigeons, it reminds me of Mary Poppins, and it makes me want to feed the birds, and I almost ran over you sir, I am so sorry. He didn't even see it, he doesn't care, it's fine. It's fine, he doesn't care, he's just trucking through life.

Joel Osteen: Candace laughs like she doesn't have a care in the world. You would never assume that his beautiful laugh came from a place of poverty, hopelessness, and hurt.

Candace Payne: Growing up, I remember we were just completely out of a home, in between states, it was a full summer that we were homeless and taking coin showers, and living in that van. Eventually we were able to move from that RV spot, into a budget motel. I think we stayed there for anywhere between about 16 to 18 months while I was in school. It was what it was. There was this kid in seventh grade, I remember at lunchtime, he was giving me the eye at another table, and I'm like, he likes me too, right, not the case. He had just told all of his friends that I had more rolls than Mrs. Baird's Bakery, and I was like oh, oh we're gonna go there, aw.

And I just remember being shattered under the weight of not only that insult, but the weight of actually my body. I just remember thinking, I was so aware that my body wasn't like the other types of girls that I was hanging around with. My self esteem just started to dwindle, and my identity really became wrapped and lost in just a lot of self deprecating jokes. And that lasted for a while in entertaining the room, but it didn't entertain anything else inside of me that needed to be filled up with actual joy. It actually just made my heart crush under the weight of those horrible things I was saying about myself.

Joel Osteen: Through high school and college, Candace continued to battle thoughts of comparison and worthlessness. On the outside, she was the funny girl, laughing at herself before others could, but on the inside, she was hurting.

Candace Payne: In all honesty, all those things that I told myself about not being worthy and not being pretty enough, and not being good enough, and not being whatever enough, led me to have a spiral in my thoughts, and actually tried to take my life. I remember grabbing a pair of kitchen scissors, and trying to see how deep I would have to cut my arms for me to actually reach the vein. Balling my eyes out, my roommate came in, and she just stopped me, and she took the scissors and she called my mom. And after that, spent an entire evening walking the entire campus with me, not saying a word. Not saying one single word, she just let me cry, let me just walk around and just held my arm. And I believe that was the first time that I saw that joy was possible.

Everything shifted that night when I woke up and came to my senses. I don't let my thoughts get the best of me. And I can easily equate that as a person of faith going back to Philippians 4:8, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is praiseworthy, think on these things. And I think it's just learning that tool of saying, I'm not going to focus on the negative, and I'm not gonna focus on the things that actually make me harm myself, or harm my relationships, or think the worst of somebody else. I'm going to think in the things that are praiseworthy about this person, about this circumstance, and you can always find something. It really is that optimism verses pessimism. It's finding the things that are praiseworthy to think on. It's shifting the atmosphere.

You know, a lot of people probably haven't seen a correlation of me beginning my story, while I was living in a van at an RV spot. And then to be able to share joy on such a massive level from my car as well in a viral video. I mean, I just think it's like God for something like that to happen. "Okay, now I'm gonna let Chewbacca talk here. Oh my gosh, I'm in tears. I am in tears. Wow". When you think about a laugh, you don't have to speak the same language to feel it. It's a lot like music. Music and laughter share that commonality, you don't need to know what fully is going on to understand the emotion of it. And I think a lot of people just had a good laugh with me, and I see the pull in that, that's actually something that brings some levity in the middle of your day and brings you some joy. "This is the best birthday present ever to myself, wow, oh my goodness. Y'all have an incredible day. It's the simple joys".

- Hi, Pastor Joel.
- I need some help.
- Dear Pastor Joel...
- I have a question for you.
- Pastor Joel...
- My anger sometimes gets the best of me.
- I don't know what to do.
- My stepson drives me nuts.
- I need some help.
- My marriage is falling apart and I wish we'd never married.
- How can I get my thoughts right?
- How do I know which direction God wants me to go?
- God isn't answering my prayers.
- Where's God when I'm struggling?
- Dear Pastor Joel...
- How do I choose...
- I don't understand what's going on.
- I can't get my life...
- Hey, Pastor Joel.
- My marriage is struggling.
- I don't know what to do.
- Do you even read these questions? All I know is, I want to start living my best life.
- Where do I start?
- But where do I start?

I get questions like this all the time. Week after week people call in, write in, reach out to us through social media. I've learned that so many people never learn to enjoy life. In fact, many of us are struggling to even get through the week. I read a statistic that said, there are more heart attacks on Monday, than any other day of the week. People have already made up their mind that Monday is a stressed out day. You've heard of the Monday morning blues. If we're not careful we'll think, I can't enjoy this day, it's Monday. Or I've gotta mow the lawn, it's raining outside. I've gotta pay my bills, this is a stressed out day, let me just endure it.

A new study just came out that talks about how happiness increases 10% on Fridays. Why is that? People are ready for the weekend, so they've already decided they can be happier. They've made up their mind, on Friday they can enjoy their life more. My challenge, is let every day be a Friday. If you'll have the right mind set, you could enjoy Monday just as much as Friday. The scripture doesn't say Friday is the day the Lord has made, no, it says, this is the day the Lord has made. This means Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. This means when it's raining, when you have to work late, when you have to pay your bills, when you have to mow the lawn. Why don't you make a decision to be happy every day.

Too many people are only excited about the weekend, vacations, or a big event, but if you'll have the right mind set, every day can be a Friday. You've heard of the saying TGIF, thank God it's Friday. Well, for you and me, it should be TGIM, Thank God it's Monday. TGIW, thank God it's Wednesday. TGIS, thank God it's Sunday. When you get up on Monday, those thoughts come knocking on your door saying, this is going to be a hard day, a long week, traffic is going to be bad. Just try to make it through, it's the Monday morning blues, say "No thanks, I've already answered the door. Almighty God, the creator of the universe has sent me a special delivery of joy, and I've accepted it. This is going to be a great day".

For us, it's not the Monday morning blues, it's the Monday morning DO's. I do have joy. I do have strength. I do have favor. I do have hope. I do have passion. I do have victory. Every day is supposed to be a Friday. Every day can be a good day. Sure some are more difficult, but if you'll program your mind the right way, then you won't drag through the week, waiting for Friday to come so you can enjoy your life. Faith is always in the now, our attitude should be, I'm excited to be alive right now. I'm excited to have breath to breathe. I'm excited that I have my health. I'm excited that I have my family. I have plenty of reasons to be happy.

Friends, you can be as happy as you decide to be. I'm asking you to stir up the joy on the inside. Keep the right perspective. You may not be exactly where you want to be, but learn to be happy where you are. That's the seed you're sowing for God to do something new. Remember when you get up in the morning, don't wait to see what kind of day it's going to be, make a declaration right at the start, this is going to be a great day. If you'll make the decision to live your life happy, then God promises, your joy will be full. You'll not only enjoy your life, but you'll brighten other people's day. Make up your mind that from today forward, you're going to enjoy every single day of your life. Choose to be happy and start living Your Best Life Now.

The words we speak determine the way we live. God's word is full of promises that we can speak over our future. I encourage you to take this declaration and make it your own. "I declare that God's dream for my life is coming to pass. It will not be stopped by people, disappointments, or adversities. God has solutions lined up for every problem I will ever face, in His perfect timing everything will work together for good. The right people and the right breaks are coming my way. I am surrounded by God's favor, secure in His promises, safe in His love. I am fulfilling my destiny. I am living my Best Life Now".
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