Real Happiness

Real happiness is not external

External happiness is defined by:
• People we know or meet
• Places we live or visit
• Things we own or want
For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows. 1 TIMOTHY 6:10 NLT
You are not miserable because you make less money, you are miserable because you want more things.

Real happiness is not internal

Internal happiness defined by emotion:
• I feel loved and secure
• I feel comfortable
• I feel successful
The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? JEREMIAH 17:9 NLT
Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything. 1 JOHN 3:20 NLT

Real happiness is eternal

Only God can make me happy.
Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. *PHILIPPIANS 3:1 NIV *

I have to learn to trust my faith and not my feelings

You made me so happy, GOD. I saw your work and I shouted for joy. PSALM 92:4 NLT
The further away from God you are the more miserable you will be.
Happiness can be found in God because he is not a moving target.
I am the LORD, and I do not change. MALACHI 3:6 NLT
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. HEBREWS 13:8 NLT

Happiness can be found because God is still in control

3 Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. 4 Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, 5 for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. 6 And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
7 So it is right that I should feel as I do about all of you, for you have a special place in my heart. You share with me the special favor of God, both in my imprisonment and in defending and confirming the truth of the Good News. 8 God knows how much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus.
9 I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. 10 For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. 11 May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God. PHILIPPIANS 1:3-11 NLT

In this series we will discover God’s plan for happiness in three ways:

  1. Weekends: Each week the message will focus on how we can experience real joy.
  2. Groups: Every community group will discuss and challenge each other on how we can personally become more joyful in our lives.
  3. The Debrief: The Debrief podcast will take us deeper into God’s word, tackling how the book of Philippians speaks directly to how to have real joy.

Community Group Discussion Guide

  1. Where have you identified happiness with external things?
  2. Where have you identified happiness with internal things; how you felt?
  3. In either of the above instances, what happened to your happiness? When did it begin to change? What things threatened your happiness?
  4. Based on the message, what makes internal happiness so hard to keep?
  5. Why do you think it is so dangerous to let our emotions dictate our happiness?
  6. Why do you think the idea of happiness is so appealing?
    End group by praying for specific friends or family members who you could invite to church during this series and pray that every member of the group would grow in their joy with God despite their circumstances.

Personal Reflection Guide

Find a place where you can be alone with God. Talk to God about your happiness. Ask him some questions like, “God reveal to me three desires that could make me happy” Are these desires aimed at an external, internal, or eternal happiness?” Next, offer them to God and ask if there are any eternal desires that he would like to give you. End your prayer by thanking God for wanting to give you things that will last.

My Notes