Summary: Based loosely on the book "The Travlers Gift"

The Apprentice - part 4

Prov 15:13-17

May 16, 2004 AM


Our secrets for success so far:


1) the buck stops here

Stop playing the blame game -- you control your life

You are where you are right now because of choices you have made,

And your reactions to situations that come against you

2) we must seek wisdom

Wisdom is the most important thing Solomon said

3) we must be people of action

Life will pass you by if you just sit and let it.

4) We must decide our hearts

That is one step beyond making up our minds --

Our hearts become fixed -- set -- we cannot be stopped or detoured

This morning we begin with secret to success # 5;


5) I will choose to be happy

The most basic and simplistic thought behind this truth is the reality that no one wants to be around an unhappy person.


And people no one wants to be around seldom see success.

But a deeper truth is that happiness -- real happiness, is a choice

Happiness is the end result of a chemical reaction that begins when we think certain thoughts and are involved in certain activities.

The outcome is the result of a choice we make.

I firmly believe we can decide from this moment on that we are going to be happy.

Let me read some scripture that deals with being happy and having joy;


(Prov 15:13 NIV) A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.

The Message says it like this;

Proverbs 15:13 (Msg) A cheerful heart brings a smile to your face; a sad heart makes it hard to get through the day.

Look at verse 15:


(Prov 15:15 NIV) All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast.

Again look at what The Message says;

Proverbs 15:15 (Msg) A miserable heart means a miserable life; a cheerful heart fills the day with song.


(Prov 17:22 NIV) A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.


(Psa 68:2 NIV) As smoke is blown away by the wind, may you blow them away; as wax melts before the fire, may the wicked perish before God.


(Psa 68:3 NIV) But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful.


(Psa 100:1 NIV) A psalm. For giving thanks. Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.

(Psa 100:2 NIV) Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.


(Psa 100:3 NIV) Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his ; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.


(Psa 100:4 NIV) Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.


How many of you get the idea that God wants us to be happy?

I never noticed it before -- but God says to come into His presence with thanksgiving, gladness (that’s happy ness), joy, and praise

In other words -- the reason we don’t like to hang out with sad-sack people is because God doesn’t either.


God doesn’t want to be around miserable looking and acting people.

In the new testament Jesus was teaching on fasting --

It’s in Matthew chapter 6 ...


(Mat 6:16 NKJV) "Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.


(Mat 6:17 NKJV) "But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,


(Mat 6:18 NKJV) "so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.


In other words -- looking sad is not a spiritual quality.

Looking miserable does not qualify you for special blessings.

Pouting does not move the hand of God quicker.


God hangs out with happy people,

God dwells with thankful, happy, praising people.

Let me give you some helpful ideas on maintaining the happy in your life.


1) make the concious choice to laugh every morning when you first get up.

This is important.

Some people begin their day with the news, or some other depressing thing.

And the attitude of their whole day is down.

I know it isn’t all that spiritual -- but the first thing I read in the morning is not my Bible .... that’s second.

The first thing I read is the comic page of the newspaper.

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