How To Have A Happy New Year

     I am positive that everyone reading this article wants to have a happy new year. We have a natural tendency to pursue happiness, but sometimes we look for happiness in the wrong places. Happiness is not to be found in sinful pleasures such as illicit sex, drinking and drugs; neither is happiness found in money or material possessions. These things may create an illusion of happiness, but in the end they do not offer true satisfaction and fulfillment.

     True happiness comes from being "in Christ." When a penitent [Luke 13: 3 and 5, Acts 2:38], confessing [Romans 10:9-10, Matthew 10:32-33] believer [Mark 16:15-16, Acts 18:8] is "baptized into Christ" 

[Romans 6:3-4, Galatians 3:26-27], he is a new creature [II Corinthians 5:17. All past sins are forgiven, washed away in the blood of Christ. Now, free from the burden of guilt, the Christian can "rejoice in the Lord" [Philippians 4:5-7].

     True happiness is thinking the right thoughts [Philippians 4:8]. If we dwell on sins of the past, crime in our society, how someone has mistreated us, etceteras, we will develop a negative, pessimistic attitude. If, however, we meditate on the love of God, the joy of salvation, the hope of heaven, and pleasant things in general, this will go a long way toward true happiness.

     True happiness is living with a clean conscience

[Romans 14:22]. Nothing will steal our happiness faster than a guilty conscience. The Christian lives with a clean conscience as he confesses sins to God [I John 1:9] and trusts in God's forgiveness.

     True happiness is living a simple godly life [Psalms 128]. The people I know who are the happiest are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways; those who love to spend time with family; those who stay busy doing something worthwhile; those who live the simple life. Following these principles will help us all have a happy new year.

     This article was written by Mark Lindley, preacher for the Chapman Church of Christ in Ripley, MS.

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