How To Put Happy Into Your New Year

“in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

1 Thessalonians 5:18

I have always believed that if you took all the knowledge of science and put it into a thimble you still couldn’t fill it to the top in comparison to the wisdom and knowledge of God but I still enjoy reading about scientific discoveries. Take this morning for instance. Here’s a quote from a book I am reading by A.J. Jacobs titled, “Thanks A Thousand”. It’s one of the few books I am reading this month as I start the new year. A.J. writes, “According to the research, gratitude’s psychological benefits are legion: It can lift depression, help you sleep, improve your diet, and make you more likely to exercise. Heart patients recover more quickly when they keep a gratitude journal. A recent study showed gratitude causes people to be more generous and kinder to strangers. Another study summarized in Scientific American finds that gratitude is the single best predictor of well-being and good relationships, beating out twenty-four other impressive traits such as hope, love, and creativity. As the Benedictine monk David Steindl-Rast says, “Happiness does not lead to gratitude. Gratitude leads to happiness.”

What A.J. Jacobs writes about most likely took years of research to conclude while the Bible, which was written thousands of years before and is unlike any other book out there since the Bible has God Himself as the author. God makes a profound statement that if we all put into practice on a day to day basis we would be reading A.J. Jacobs book and almost laughing as we mutter under our breath, “And I paid $7.00 to have someone tell me what God has already told us in His Word.” Inspiring the hand of the apostle Paul, the Bible says, “in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

I am not sure if you are aware of the dangers of the sin of ingratitude, simply stated, not being thankful. Romans chapter one lays it out so clearly its chilling to read of the results of the heat that remains ungrateful. Read it for your self and you get a glimpse as to why the world is in the state it’s in today. The apostle Paul writes in Romans 1:18-21, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”

Have you ever considered that all sin (sin means to miss the mark of God’s perfection) begins in a heart of ingratitude? Thankless people open themselves up to the most degrading kinds of sin known to mankind. If you continue to read on in Romans 1 you get a glimpse of the foolishness we are capable of when we turn our hearts from God. When we no longer appreciate God’s plan and purposes and instead choose our own way, that way leads us further from the very thing we long for as scripture makes clear, a man may plan his steps but the Lord ordains them.

Do you want to be happier in 2019 the you were in 2018? It’s really pretty simple. Start by choosing to be more thankful. Give God thanks every day and openly express your gratitude as often as you can in every situation you find yourself in. Thanking God and praising Him, not for everything you go through but rather in everything you find yourself going through because you are not alone. God is there, right along side you seeking to reveal Himself to you and to make Himself known. Remember, loved one, “Happiness does not lead to gratitude. Gratitude leads to happiness.”

“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.”

Psalm 100:4-5



Michael Osthimer

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