“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21 (NIV)
Happiness comes from service and giving your life away. Until you understand this, you’re not going to be happy for much of your life. Happiness does not come from self-gratification. It comes from self-sacrifice.
Paul knew that to be happy, he had to stay focused on his purpose and not his problems. He summed up his purpose in Philippians 1:21: “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (NIV).
If you were asked to fill in the blank, what word would you use? “For me to live is
.” Would it be entertainment? Sports? Clothes? Family? Friends? A career? There could be a lot of good things you could answer, but nothing deserves the place of the One who created you and gave you your life: Jesus Christ.
How you fill in that blank will determine how happy you are in life. Because if you answer “money” or “success” or “pleasure” or “power,” you are going to be unhappy for most of your life. There’s nothing wrong with those things; they just don’t deserve first place.
You weren’t created to make a bunch of money, then die, and give it away. God has a far greater purpose for your life. There is only one answer that leads to happiness: to live is Christ. Give your life away. It is your purpose!
Pray this prayer today: “Dear Jesus, you know that I often let circumstances determine my happiness. You know that I often allow the killjoys of pain and problems and pressures and picky people to rob my happiness. Help me to look at every problem in my life from your viewpoint.
I want to handle problems in a way that is a witness to nonbelievers and an encouragement to believers. Help me to remember that what others say and do does not control my happiness unless I allow it.
And as for the things that happen that I don’t understand or can’t figure out, I want to trust you to work it all out for good.
Help me to stay focused on your purpose for my life and not my problems. I want to use the rest of my life to serve you by serving others. Use me, Lord, so I have a purpose for living and for dying. From this day on, for me to live is Christ. In your name I pray. Amen.”
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