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Squeeze More Joy Out of Every Day

Joy Circumstances Happiness

Source: Time Magazine

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Charles Krieg | Date Posted: 2018-01-24

Scripture: John 15:11

Author: Charles Krieg
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ILLUSTRATION

Time magazine ran an article recently titled “14 Ways to Squeeze More Joy Out of Every Day."  The author, Ellen Seidman,  began: "Sometime this morning, during your shower or at work, you probably did a mental run-through of your day. You decided when you’d tackle various tasks and errands. Perhaps you vowed to hit the gym at lunchtime. Maybe you plotted to get out of something (apologies, PTA meeting). The one thing you forgot to plan for: happiness.”

The author then gives a list of 14 ways to be happy suggested by Barbara Fredrickson, a social psychologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  The list, among other things, includes the following suggestions about how to be happy:  Make happiness your goal, know what makes you happy, prioritize it, think happy thoughts, and make Sunday future-fun day (make plans for the next weekend).

APPLICATION

A man, living in the third century, was dying when he wrote these last words to a friend: "It's a bad world, an incredibly bad world. But I have discovered in the midst of it a quiet and holy people who have learned a great secret. They have found a joy which is a thousand times better than any pleasure of our sinful life. They are despised and persecuted, but they care not. They are masters of their souls. They have overcome the world. They are truly a joyful people. These people are the Christians ... and I am one of them" (Riding the Joy Train by Wanda Jo Pence, p.18).

We who are Christians, followers of Christ, have learned a great secret: Jesus is the reason for the joy of joys. His presence in our life and the promise of eternal life in heaven with Him brings a transcendent joy to any set of circumstances.

If you want to squeeze more joy out of everyday life, fit more of Jesus into it!

Jesus said, "I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete" (John 15:11). 

Winning The Lottery Without Losing At Life

Happiness Wealth Contentment

Source: “$900 Million Prize, 1 In 292 Million Odds — And A Few More Lottery Numbers” By Camila Domonoske, Updated January 10, 2016

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-01-13

Scripture: Proverbs 10:22

Author: Illustration Exchange
6

ILLUSTRATION

People are buying tickets in droves in the hopes of winning the now $1.5 billion and growing lottery jackpot, not only the largest ever jackpot in the United States, but in the world.

ABC reports, “The jackpot is so big that billboards in Texas and around the country have to advertise the price as $999 million because they're not built to show billions.”

The way the lottery is growing in America, they may need to build new billboards for future drawings. Camila Domonoske with NPR writes:

$70 billion — [is] the total amount Americans spent on the lottery in 2014, the most recent year for which data is available, according to the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries.

CNN Money calculates that's more than Americans spend on sports tickets, books, video games, movie theaters and recorded music, combined.

NASA's annual budget, for comparison, is around $17 billion. Total U.S. foreign aid for next year: just shy of $38 billion.

It’s clear that Americans are chasing a dream, and they are willing to spend a lot of money to catch it. But there’s a problem, and it’s not just the 1 in 292 million odds of ending up with the winning ticket. Recent history has taught us that just because someone becomes instantly rich doesn’t mean they'll end up with any greater sense of happiness.  

Domonoske explains:

Zero. That's the impact of a lottery win on net happiness, at least at first.

A famous 1978 study found that major lottery winners were no happier than ordinary folks, and actually got less joy from daily activities. A 2008 Dutch study found winning the lottery doesn't make a household happier.

Now, a caveat: Two studies out of England suggest that it is possible to win the lottery and be content — but only eventually.

"No researcher has ever found that people are happier in the first year after winning the lottery," one of the researchers told The New York Times

And the Times' social science reporter suggests that it might take longer and longer to find contentment the larger your win is.

 

APPLICATION

Despite the high expectations, winning the lottery doesn’t solve our interpersonal problems, but will probably make things worse as friends and relatives clamor for their piece of the prize. Neither will it result in a greater sense of happiness as we suddenly have so much more wealth to worry about protecting, investing, etc. 

Most will never have the chance to find out how they'd do with untold wealth, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lesson here for the rest of us. The reality is we all live with the same false hope as the lottery winner—the expectation that the next big promotion, the next good turn of fortune, will finally bring us the contentment and happiness that has eluded us so far.

Let the lesson of past lottery winners be a lesson to you. That transcendent, immune-to-life’s-assault happiness we all search for can’t be purchased or won, but is the byproduct of faith—the result of possessing spiritual riches.

“The blessing of the LORD brings wealth, without painful toil for it.” (Proverbs 10:22).

The Happiness Police

Happiness Great Commission Witness

Source: "Think you're unhappy in Dubai? Police may call to ask why," AP, By JON GAMBRELL

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-12-15

Scripture: John 15:11

Author: Illustration Exchange
6

ILLUSTRATION

The United Arab Emirates is ranked No. 20 out of 158 countries surveyed in the United Nations' 2015 World Happiness Report, and they are not satisfied with that. Though coming in first in the Arab world, they hope to break into the top 10 by 2021, the 50th anniversary of the nation's founding.

According to the AP, they’re taking an interesting approach:

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — If you say you're unhappy in Dubai, the police may call to ask you why as part of a new survey.

The online poll, unveiled in recent days, comes as Dubai tries to break into the top 10 rankings of world's happiest cities by 2021, an effort in league with other lofty aspirations in this emirate, home to the world's tallest building.

The simple survey has users choose between a frown, a smile and an unimpressed straight line.

Dubai's police chief told local media that his officers randomly call a selection of those who are unhappy to ask what is upsetting them … He stressed police could not help with personal issues.

William Davies, a senior lecturer at the University of London and author of the recently published the book The Happiness Industry: How the Government and Big Business Sold Us Well-Being, is puzzled by this approach:

This looks like to me an attempt to try to slightly frighten people into A) replying to the survey question and B) replying to say they're happy because people really don't want to be rung up by the police with the question:  "Well, what's your problem?" ...  But I don't know. Maybe there's something sincere about it.

 

APPLICATION

Here in America we call on the police for many things, but investigating the cause of our unhappiness isn’t one of them. That’s the mission of the Church. Believers in Christ have been commissioned to seek out those who are in despair, not just to determine the reason, but to offer a solution. We are here to bring the joy of Jesus to the world.

When was the last time you investigated a neighbor's or friend’s unhappiness?

“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:11).

The Science of Happiness - An Experiment in Gratitude

Thankfulness Happiness Encouragement

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-11-08

Scripture: Psalms 136:1 ; 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Author: Illustration Exchange
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Happiness Quotes

Happiness Quotes Happiness Perspective

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-08-05

Scripture: Various

Author: Various
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Scientists Devise Equation for Happiness

Happiness Blessings/Blessedness Expectations

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-05-27

Scripture: John 16:33

Author: Illustration Exchange
4

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I Can Get Some Satisfaction

Satisfaction Contentment Happiness

Contributed By: Mitchell Dillon | Date Posted: 2014-12-18

Scripture: Philippians 4:12

Author: Mitchell Dillon
5

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Where Are You On The Gratitude Spectrum

Gratitude Happiness Self-examination

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-11-18

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Author: Illustration Exchange
1

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Jesus Calls Us to Desire More

Happiness Beatitudes Dreams

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-10-18

Author: Mitchell Dillon
10

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We Are Like Cars

Purpose Happiness Peace

Contributed By: James David Pedida | Date Posted: 2014-02-27

Author: C.S. Lewis
8

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