Read an Excerpt
Every Day a Friday JournalHow to Be Happier 7 Days a Week
By Osteen, Joel
FaithWordsCopyright © 2012 Osteen, Joel
All right reserved.
Don’t Give Away Your Power
Choose Happiness Every Day
The quality of your choices determines the quality of your life.
Whatever challenges you may face, whatever circumstances are weighing you down; you can choose your response. How you live your life is totally up to you. It’s not dependent on your circumstances. It’s dependent on your choices. Abraham Lincoln said, “Most people are as happy as they’ve decided to be.”
Honest Abe would have enjoyed a recent study that found happiness increases 10 percent on Fridays. Why is that? People are excited about the coming weekend so they decide to be happier. They make up their minds on Fridays to enjoy their lives more.
I challenge you to let every day be a Friday. Give yourself permission to be happy every day. Not just on the weekends. Not just when you have a special event. Not just when you’re on vacation.
If you have the right mind-set, you can be just as happy on Monday as you are on Friday. The Scripture doesn’t say, “Friday is the day the Lord has made.” It says, “This is the day the LORD has made” (Psalm 118:24 NKJV; emphasis added).
This means Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and every other day of the week. You can be happy even when it’s raining, when you have to work late, or when you have to do the dishes.
Why don’t you make up your mind to be happy every day? You’ve heard the saying “TGIF. Thank God it’s Friday.” For you and me it also should be, “TGIM. Thank God it’s Monday.”
“TGIW. Thank God it’s Wednesday.”
“TGIS. Thank God it’s Sunday.”
Another study said there are more heart attacks on Monday than on any other day. So many people just decide that Monday is a stressed-out day. They suffer the Monday morning blues.
When you wake up on Monday morning, don’t accept those negative thoughts that come knocking on your door, saying, It’s going to be a hard day and a long week. Traffic will be bad. I’ve got so much work to do. I just need to make it through the Monday morning blues. Don’t buy into those thoughts.
Instead, say, “Thanks, but no thanks. I’ve already answered the door and almighty God, the Creator of the universe, has sent me a hand delivery of joy. I know this is going to be a great day!”
Decide that for you, there are no Monday morning blues. Instead, choose the Monday morning dos by saying, “I do have a smile. I do have joy. I do have God’s favor. I do have victory.”
Some days are more difficult than others. But if you program your mind in a positive way, you won’t have to drag through certain days just hoping to get to Friday so you can finally enjoy life.
In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.
What the Scriptures Say
This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.
—Psalm 118:24 (NLT)
It seemed like a dream, too good to be true, when GOD [gave us the victory]… Now, GOD, do it again… so those who went off with heavy hearts will come home laughing, with armloads of blessing.
—Psalm 126 (The Message)
A Prayer for Today
Father, I say “Thanks but no thanks” to negative thoughts, and instead I say “Thank You for sending me a hand delivery of joy.” I know this is going to be a great day!
Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I—not events—have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.
I can choose happiness every day, so my attitude should be: I’m excited to be alive at this moment. I’m excited to be breathing today. I’m excited about my family, my health, and my opportunities. I have plenty of reasons to be happy right now.
Treat Every Day as a Gift
You can manufacture your own happiness.
Years ago, a man traveling by train met a well-to-do couple. The lady was wearing expensive clothing and jewelry. They shared their first-class cabin with the fellow traveler, and it was very comfortable. But from the start the lady did nothing but complain. She complained that the temperature wasn’t right, complained that there wasn’t enough light, complained that the food wasn’t good, and complained that her seat was dirty. She made everyone miserable.
During the journey, the traveler struck up a conversation with her husband. He asked what kind of business he was in. He said he had been in the car industry and God had blessed him in a great way. But he added; “Now my wife, she’s in the manufacturing business.”
The traveler thought: That’s kind of odd. I mean, she’s so dignified and dressed so properly. That just doesn’t seem like it fits.
He asked very curiously, “What does she manufacture?”
“She manufactures unhappiness,” the husband said. “She’s unhappy everywhere she goes.”
You may need to change businesses, not physically but mentally. Get out of the business of manufacturing unhappiness. Quit dwelling on what’s wrong. Quit seeing the faults and start seeing the good. Start being grateful for what you have.
As I walked out of the house early one recent morning, I heard all these birds singing and singing so loud and so cheerful. Little birds were chirping and chirping. Big birds were making a melody. It was like they were having a big party. I wanted to say to them, “Hey, birds. Have you read the newspapers lately? Did you see the stock market last year? You’re not supposed to be singing, enjoying life. What’s wrong with you? You’re acting like everything is going to be all right.”
What was it with those birds? They know a secret. They know their heavenly Father is in control. They know God has promised to take care of them, so they go through the day singing and enjoying life, regardless of the circumstances.
You attract what you put out. If you complain all the time, you will only attract other complainers and their unhappiness, but if you get up each morning with a song of praise in your heart and sing it all day, you will attract praise, happiness, and joy. So put a smile on your face. Go out determined to enjoy each day.
Happiness calls out responsive gladness in others. There is enough sadness in the world without yours.… Never doubt the excellence and permanence of what is yet to be. Join the great company of those who make the barren places of life fruitful with kindness.
What the Scriptures Say
Be happy [in your faith] and rejoice and be glad-hearted continually (always).
—1 Thessalonians 5:16 (AMP)
We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
—Romans 8:28 (NLT)
A Prayer for Today
Father, I know You are in control and that You will take care of me always, so I will spend my days singing to glorify You, enjoying each moment given me, and not worrying about what I cannot control.
Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.
Blaming your circumstances will not relieve your unhappiness, but changing them will. Taking responsibility for your happiness is the first step to finding joy in each day.
Don’t Let Anyone Steal Your Joy
Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you respond.
I had a real nice sports car when I first dated my wife, Victoria. I was in my early twenties and wanted to impress her, so I kept that car spotless. There wasn’t a scratch on it. Then I was driving home from Victoria’s house late one night and I had an accident. I was proceeding through an intersection. The light was green. Another car going the same direction turned right from the wrong lane and hit the back of my sports car, spinning it around.
After taking a few moments to calm down, I stepped out of my car. I knew the accident wasn’t my fault, and I’m naturally easygoing. There is not much that upsets me. I checked my spotless car. The back end was totally destroyed.
About that time the other driver climbed out of his car. It was very dark, but I could see he was probably in his fifties. He started ranting, raving, and cursing, and then he said, “Kid, learn how to drive. I am so mad at you.”
I thought to myself, I’m the one who should be upset. He just turned from the wrong lane. He was about thirty yards away. I could see he was working up his anger. Then he started running toward me like he wanted to fight.
My first thought was, Do you want some of this?
You know that’s not true. My real first thought was, How big is he?
When he came within fifteen yards, I saw he was twice my size. Right then and there I had a revelation: This was not a battle worth fighting.
I went around to the other side of my car.
You say, “Joel, you mean you were a chicken?”
No, I just wanted to live!
He fit into that category of people who will never be at peace with me. We all need to accept that some just will feel that way about us. They will never see our point of view. We might as well let them go and move on. And even if we could win them over, we’d have to wonder if it would be worth it. What is this going to accomplish?
What if I had stood up to the guy whose car hit mine and showed him what I’m made of? Big deal. I didn’t even know the man. He’d been in my life for less than ten minutes. Trying to make peace with him was not worth the effort. I made a decision that I was not going to give him my power, my joy, or my peace. I stayed away from him and let him cool off. Then we exchanged information and we let the insurance companies handle it from there.
Go into each day positive, hopeful, and expecting God’s favor. But at the same time be realistic, knowing that most days will not go exactly as you planned. If you become stressed because you are off schedule, frustrated because someone offended you, or upset because your child wouldn’t eat breakfast, you are giving away your power.
It’s good to have plans, but at the first part of every day, submit those plans to God and just say, “God, this is what I would like to accomplish today. But I know You’re in control, so I submit my plans to You. And I’ve decided in advance that no matter what comes my way, I will stay in peace, knowing You are directing my steps and that all things will work together for my good.”
But too many people these days have the wrong approach to life. They think they can’t be happy unless they control all their circumstances and everything goes their way. But that’s not realistic. You have to come to the place where you can say, “I don’t have to have my way to have a good day. My plans don’t have to work out for me to be happy. Everybody doesn’t have to treat me right for life to be enjoyable. I have already made up my mind: No matter what does or doesn’t happen, I will stay in peace and enjoy this day.”
No circumstance can take your peace. No interruption can take your enthusiasm. You have to give it away. The next time you’re tempted to be upset and frustrated, ask yourself, Is this worth giving my power away?
Jesus said: “Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27 NIV). Notice that it’s a choice we have to make. Jesus didn’t say, “I will make sure your circumstances are perfect. That way you can be happy.”
He said, in effect, “The things upsetting you right now don’t have to upset you. The people aggravating you, even if they don’t change, they don’t have to aggravate you.” If you’ll make adjustments and change your approach to life, you can be happy in spite of those circumstances.
Stop allowing negative people and disappointments and inconveniences to steal your joy. You have to put your foot down and say, “This child gets on my nerves—I love him—but I’m going to rise above it. I won’t let this control me.” Or, “This grumpy boss jumps down my throat for no reason, but I’m not going to let him ruin any more of my days.” That’s what it means to not give away your power.
The happiness of a man in this life does not consist in the absence but in the mastery of his passions.
—Alfred, Lord Tennyson
What the Scriptures Say
May we shout for joy over your victory and lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the LORD grant all your requests.
—Psalm 20:5 (NIV)
The LORD is my strength and my shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.
—Psalm 28:7 (NLT)
A Prayer for Today
Father, I put my trust in You, and with Your help I will not allow anyone to take away my joy. Instead, I will go out each day and expect Your favor.
No cloud can overshadow a true Christian but his faith will discern a rainbow in it.
Every day we have plenty of opportunities to be upset, to be frustrated, and to be offended. Life is full of inconveniences. There will always be interruptions and difficult people. You can’t control all of your circumstances, but you can control your reactions.
Express Your Joy
Handling difficult people with grace and good humor disarms them and builds your character.
I went for barbecue one day and the drive-thru lady was very grumpy. She jumped down my throat before the first part of my order was out of my mouth.
“Hold on! I’m not ready,” she barked.
Then I made the mistake of asking her what the side dishes were. You might have thought I’d asked for her favorite child.
She screamed the complete list of sides at me, and I’m telling you, “baked beans” never sounded so scary.
I had to keep reminding myself to stay calm: You’re the pastor of a church. Keep your joy. Don’t let her affect you. Infect her instead.
You have to talk yourself down in the heat of battle. Giving her a piece of my mind would have been easy. I’d just repent later. Instead, I remembered that dealing with challenging people helps build character.
I placed my order as nicely as could be at the drive-thru speaker. I said “Please” and “Thank you” and tossed in a “Have a good day!” at no extra charge.
Then when I drove up to her window, I put on the most fake smile you’ve ever seen.
“Good to see you,” I said, as chipper as I could muster.
I was really thinking, You need counseling!
Grumpy turned from the register, looked at me, and did a double take.
“Pastor Joel, I watch you all the time!”
I wanted to say, “Do you ever listen?”
Then, instead of my barbecue, she handed me one of my books. (I’m positive she hadn’t read it yet!)
“Would you sign this for me?” she asked, a little nicer but not much.
I opened it and thought about underlining all the lessons on joy.
Instead, I signed it, “Keep smiling that beautiful smile, Joel Osteen.”
And then I drove out of there as fast as I could before her grumpiness spoiled my brisket.
You and I are supposed to be happier than the average person. God has anointed us with the oil of joy. You can’t let anyone’s bad attitude ruin your good one. Instead, infect them with a smile and a kind word. God knew you would have to deal with negative people. That’s why He said “I’ve given you an advantage; I’ve anointed you with the oil of joy so you can be happier than those around you.”
Tap into that joy and don’t hide it. It should be seen.
Studies have proven that a smile on your face is good for you and everyone around you. In one test people were asked to show facial expressions for fear and anger. Their bodies responded just as if they were really feeling those emotions, triggering increased heart rate, raising their skin temperature, and making them sweat. Those same people were then asked to smile, and their heart rates settled down, their temperatures dropped, and they didn’t sweat so much. They said they felt happy.
Our Creator knows all this, of course. God talks about our countenances more than fifty times in the Scripture. You see the word rejoice again and again. To rejoice doesn’t just mean to sing. It also means to brighten up, to put a smile on your face, to be cheerful. When you go through the day with a smile, you are rejoicing. By having a cheerful countenance, being friendly and fun to be around, you are giving praise to God.
Too many people drag through the day with long faces. Some don’t smile for months. Then they’ll come up with those same sour faces after a service and say to me, “I’ve got the joy of the Lord.”
I’ll think: You should notify your face!
The Bible says to be sober-minded, not sober-faced. You receive back what you project. If you’re sour, grumpy, and unfriendly, then others will be sour, grumpy, and unfriendly back to you. Misery loves company. If you look miserable, you will attract defeat, negativity, gloom, doom, and discouragement.
But when you smile and project an aura of warmth, kindness, and friendliness, you will attract warmth, kindness, and friendliness. Happy people will be drawn to you.
You may have many challenges. I’m not making light of your circumstances but Jesus said, “In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer” (John 16:33 AMP). I’ve found that sometimes you have to smile by faith. Instead of being depressed, discouraged, or worried, say, “I’m not moved by what I see; I’m moved by what I know, and I know this is the day the Lord has made. I’m going to choose to be happy.”
Smiling improves your attitude. You see life in a different light. It’s difficult to smile and be negative. It’s hard to stay in a bad mood if you act cheerful and friendly. One expert says smiling tricks the body into feeling good. That’s the way God created us. Smiling resets your mood.
If you’re not receiving what you like, check what you’re sending out. No happy person wants to be around an old stick-in-the-mud. Anyone who is going places will avoid the company of people wallowing in the pits. Your happier friends might pull you out of the pit a few times, but eventually they will find more upbeat people with whom to share their lives.
Laughter is the closest distance between two people.
What the Scriptures Say
You love justice and hate evil. Therefore, O God, your God has anointed you, pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else.
—Hebrews 1:9 (NLT)
Let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
—Psalm 5:11 (NIV)
A Prayer for Today
Father, I know this is the day You made, so I choose to be happy.
Where others see but the dawn coming over the hill, I see the soul of God shouting for joy.
When you smile, you send a message to your whole body that says, “God’s in control, everything is all right. This will be a good day.” Don’t wait to see how you feel before you express your joy. Put a smile on your face first. Then the joy will come.
Bloom Where You Are Planted
No matter your circumstances, you can rise above them.
Many unfair things happened to Joyce when she was growing up. Her first marriage to an abusive, unfaithful man didn’t last. She married a second time and made her husband miserable. She wasn’t trying to be a bad wife, but she had just been through so much pain. She was hurt and messed up.
She couldn’t trust anybody. She was very negative, critical, and hard to get along with. Her second husband, Dave, wanted to leave her a thousand times. He had every right to walk away. Nobody would have blamed him. But deep down he knew he was supposed to stay. It was the most difficult thing he had ever done. Month after month, even year after year, he was uncomfortable.
His situation was unfair and difficult, but Dave kept blooming where he was planted. He just kept being his best: kind, forgiving, patient, overlooking things. He felt like he gave and gave and never received; all sowing and no reaping.
Excerpted from Every Day a Friday Journal by Osteen, Joel Copyright © 2012 by Osteen, Joel. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.