Today’s Wall Street Journal carries an article titled “Thinking Happy Thoughts at Work.” The author’s corresponding blog post uses the following title – “Workplace Blues? Call a Happiness Coach.”
“How would you feel if your employer brought in a happiness coach — a trainer or speaker urging you to practice new behaviors, cheer up and stop stressing out?” That’s how Sue Shellenberger’s blog post begins. She writes that trainers and coaches are “drawing on psychological research and ancient religious traditions to teach inner peace, gratitude, kindness and resiliency in the face of adversity” that is so prevalent at the workplace in today’s tough economic times. Shellenberger writes that coaches are placing an emphasis on the inner happiness of their clients and how they can control their own mood amidst turbulence or misfortune. Some techniques mentioned are writing emails to friends thanking them for something they’ve done, meditating daily to clear your mind, doing something for someone without expecting anything in return and focusing on the process of work rather than the outcome which you can’t control.
It’s true that we all can benefit from applying techniques and activities that will bring us peace, kindness and strength during tough times. Fortunately, God provides us many principles for this in the Bible. Let’s take a look.
What the Bible Says About Happiness and Joy
“Oh, the joys of those who …. delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.” Psalm 1:1-2
“O LORD Almighty, happy are those who trust in you.” Psalm 84:12
“Happy are those who hear the joyful call to worship, for they will walk in the light of your presence, Lord.” Psalm 89:15
“Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord. Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts.” Psalm 119:1-2
“As pressure and stress bear down on me, I find joy in your commands.” Psalm 119:143
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.” Philippians 4:6-7
“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….. then the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9
What You Can Do
Deep inner happiness or joy is what people are looking for. That need is greater than short term happiness which is typically dependent on our circumstances. So how do you come to a place of joy? Our creator, God, inspired the authors of the Bible to tell us that this kind of deep happiness comes from placing your trust in God and by following his principles or commandments.
Trust and faith in God require a decision deep in your will. It requires you to believe deep in your heart that God is who the Bible tells us he is…. a loving, forgiving, all-knowing, powerful and holy God. When you believe this, it enables you to place your trust in him and to follow his ways.
You can’t know his ways unless you learn them and the best source of this knowledge is the Holy Bible. The more you read it, the more you can come to an understanding of who God is and what his principles for living are.
The challenge then is to live in accordance to these principles. We might call this obedience. The Bible tells us that if we truly love God we will obey him. (1 John 1:5) Having a deep love for God and spending time alone with him will enable you to obey him more easily. The scriptures above remind us that it’s through following his principles that we receive deep happiness or joy.
Thinking “healthy” thoughts is also key to maintaining a good attitude and achieving an on-going level of peace. As you renew your mind by thinking more about God and His nature and truth and less about untruths and negative thoughts it will likely improve your day-to-day attitude and corresponding emotions, as well as your disposition on life. This ought to contribute to a sense of peace and may well impact in a positive way on your emotional and physical health.
So, receive God’s love deep in your heart, get to know him better, place your trust in him, pray to him, think about “things of heaven,” thank God and follow his principles found in the Bible. That’s the pathway to deep joy and inner peace.
I don’t know about you, but God is my Happiness Coach.
Have a terrific day!
Questions About Happiness and Joy to Reflect On
How are you handling the pressures at work or in your home?
Who is your Happiness Coach?
What books or materials are you reading as a source of truth on how to have joy and peace?
Resources Related to Joy and Peace
Article – Loving God
Blog Post – Joy, Well-Being and Health