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"Your feet are funny looking!" "What did you do to your hair?" "Your ears are huge!" Have you ever noticed how quickly you forget a compliment and how long you remember an insult?

Did you know that it takes four praises for every insult to restore self-esteem? Most people remember compliments for a few minutes and insults for years. Many people get down on themselves and accept failure and defeat because of the negative things they've been told. Then, they eventually open the door to unhappiness in their lives.

It is not what happens to us in life that determines our happiness so much as the way we react to what happens! We are in control of our own happiness as we decide what thoughts we think. No one else puts thoughts in your mind but you. To be happy, you need to concentrate on happy thoughts. How often though do we ignore those compliments that are paid to us, yet we dwell on unkind words for weeks afterwards?

If you allow a bad experience or nasty remark to occupy your mind, you will suffer the consequence—your joy will be taken from you. When you do this, you become a garbage collector carrying around trash!

Joy is one of the nine fruits of the spirit but many people never tap into it. Joy comes into you at the new birth when you ask Jesus to be your Lord and Savior. Luke 2:10 says, "Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great JOY, which shall be to all people." That includes you!

People are about as joyful as they make up their minds to be. I remember at age twenty-five waking up one day and deciding that I had had enough of being miserable and moody. I thought to myself, "If you are going to be a really joyful (happy) person someday, why don't you start now?"

That day I decided to be a whole lot happier than I had ever been before. I was stunned - it actually worked! Being joyful can be hard work sometimes. It's like maintaining a nice home. You've got to hang on to your treasures and throw out the garbage! Being joyful requires looking for good things. One person sees a beautiful view and the other sees the dirty window. Happiness is a decision.

Many people live life as if someday they'll arrive at "happiness" like one arrives at a bus stop. They figure that someday everything will fall into place, or they will take a deep breath and say, "Here I am at last...happy and joyful."

Their life story is one of, "I'll be happy when..." "I'll be happy when the kids are grown and gone." "I'll be happy when I have that new car." "I'll be happy when we have money in a savings account." "I'll be happy when I get that promotion." "I'll be happy I when I find the right spouse or mate."

You are only kidding yourself. None of those things will truly make you happy. Happiness and joy only come from one place - the source of joy.

Psalm 16:11 (AMP) says, "You will show me the path of life; in your presence is fullness of joy, at your right hand there are pleasures for ever more."

I will give you the secret of joy and happiness. Stay in the presence of God through prayer and fellowship. Jesus told us what His will was for us in John 15:10-11 (AMP): "If you keep my commandments—if you continue to obey My instructions—you will abide in My love and live on in it; just as I have obeyed My Fathers commandments and live on in His love. I have told you these things that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy and gladness may be full measure and complete and overflowing!"

Don't be a garbage collector anymore. Stay in the presence of the Lord and dwell on good thoughts. There you have it! That's the solution to staying full of joy no matter what you're going through!

Jerry Savelle Ministries International
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Carolyn Savelle
Web site: Jerry Savelle Ministries International
Carolyn Savelle, wife of minister and author Jerry Savelle, is a highly anointed teacher of the Word of God.

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