How Jesus Can Make You Happy

Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord. I never get tired of telling you these things, and I do it to safeguard your faith.
2 Watch out for those dogs, those people who do evil, those mutilators who say you must be circumcised to be saved. 3 For we who worship by the Spirit of God are the ones who are truly circumcised. We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort, 4 though I could have confidence in my own effort if anyone could. Indeed, if others have reason for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more!
5 I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law. 6 I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault.
7 I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. 8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ 9 and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. 10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, 11 so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead! PHILIPPIANS 3:1-11 NLT

Most people are unhappy because…

They don’t have a definition for happiness

…I clutched at foolishness. In this way, I tried to experience the only happiness most people find during their brief life in this world. ECCLESIASTES 2:3 NLT

They have the wrong definition of happiness

Most Americans spell happiness FUN

He chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin. HEBREWS 11:25 NLT *
Doing wrong is fun for a fool, but living wisely brings pleasure to the sensible. *PROVERBS 10:23 NLT

Real happiness is spelled MEANING

Without meaning I will be miserable

Meaning makes suffering bearable

Meaning is always moral

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. PHILIPPIANS 4:8 NLT

True meaning is found in Jesus

28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. MATTHEW 11:28-29 NLT

I mean something to Jesus

“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. JOHN 15:9 NLT

Jesus gives my life meaning

This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. JOHN 15:12 NLT

Community Group Discussion Guide

  1. How can a person be happy if they can’t define what happiness is?
  2. How are you currently defining your happiness?
  3. How are you organizing your life to achieve your definition?
  4. When has there been a time where the pursuit of fun has made you miserable?
  5. How can focusing on meaning in your life bring you more happiness? What role does Jesus play in helping you?
  6. Read Philippians 3:1-11 aloud as a group a couple times through. How did Paul redefine meaning in his life? What would it look like for you to follow his lead?

Personal Reflection Guide

Find a quiet place where you can be alone with God. Thank him for being there with you, even though it may be hard to feel his presence. Ask yourself whether or not you feel your life has meaning, and where it might come from. Now ask God to show you how your life has meaning in him. Ask God how that meaning can be a source of joy for you. This week, plan real ways to give yourself to what God says about you.

My Notes